Vandals Strike Newly Renovated Park in Columbus

City leaders are frustrated after vandals hit a newly renovated park in Bartholomew County.

City leaders are frustrated after vandals hit a newly renovated park in Bartholomew County. An $18 million project recently dedicated in the downtown area of Columbus fell victim to vandalism last month.

An original sculpture from the 1973 Commons sits in the center of the building. The metallic bulbs are immovable, letters missing from the play area, the sidewalk bench scratched.

Sherry Stark, President of the board says the community donated more than $4 million to rebuild The Commons.

“The Commons means everything to Columbus. It is the centerpiece of our downtown. When I heard about the vandalism… it is so hurtful, and so distressing to think anybody would show such careless disregard,” she said.

Katia Hatter, Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, says the $4,000 incurred last month in vandalism costs takes away from other resources.

“Last year we spent about $23,000 on vandalism just in our park before we started with the Commons,” Hatter said. “It’s an expense that isn’t budgeted. It comes out of programming and maintenance funds that we would use to make improvements to buildings or to do needed repairs.”

City Officials are considering increasing security patrol in the Commons area.

Shameka Neely

Shameka Neely, a native of Nashville, Tennessee enthusiastically joined WTIU as Senior Reporter/ InFocus Producer in the news department. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Corporate Communication, with a minor in Marketing and Masters of Arts Degrees' in Administrative Dynamics and Communication all from Western Kentucky University. Shameka also holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Indiana University.

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