Estero nonprofit hopes vandals receive unusual punishment for recent crime

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 07:17:17-04

ESTERO, Fla. -- A historic schoolhouse being preserved in Estero was vandalized over the weekend. This is the second time in a month that the 1904 Estero Creek School and Hall-Hanson-Collier House has suffered damage. 

"This is about all that we have right now other than our files and some artifacts that are here," said archivist Marlene Fernandez. 

The Estero Historical Society is a nonprofit that has worked to restore the historical schoolhouse and home since 2009. The group said the recent crime isn't just hurting their pocketbook, but they feel it's a personal attack on Estero History. 

Several windows have been shattered along with holes made in several window screens. 

"It looked like one of them had been broken into or something," said resident Bobby Douglas. 

Douglas and his wife take their dog Buddy to the nearby dog park. The couple said they have never been inside the historic buildings but have always admired them while at the dog park. 

"When we have vandalism the money that we need to digitalize is being taken to make the repairs," said Fernandez. 

The Estero Historical Society has been raising money to digitalize their paper records. The nonprofit said its a costly investment but they believe this will help reach people interested in the local history who live in other states. 

Police have yet to make any arrests for the crime. However, instead of charging whoever is responsible for the damage, Fernandez hopes police will consider something else. 

"Well I'd like them to come and listen to a tour and see what Estero's history is and hear what it is so they will be aware of the damage they have done and the hurtfulness they have caused," said Fernandez. 

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