Belfast Telegraph

Demand for action after vandalism-hit derelict school is targeted by arsonists

By Donna Deeney

An arson attack at a derelict school has highlighted growing concerns about anti-social behaviour in the Waterside area of Londonderry.

Ebrington Primary School closed ahead of its relocation to a new ­building on the Limavady Road in September, but it has already become a draw for groups of young vandals.

Windows have been broken, tiles have been taken from the roof, brick walls in the grounds smashed and classrooms damaged. The building belongs to the Education Authority (EA).

DUP councillor David Ramsey said he expected the site to be sold soon, with plans to develop it.

He said: "I met with the EA to discuss this latest arson attack on the school site.

"The school building is empty now but even though EA has secured it with fencing, it said there isn't a case for providing on-site security.

"Children have been seen on the roof, which has ­obvious dangers, but this arson attack has brought what is going on at the site to the local community who have assured me they will report everything they see going on to police.

"If this escalates, security will have to be put on.

"There is a fence but these people seemed very determined, they cut through the fence and broke into the building.

"It has been resecured, but the ideal solution will be to see the site brought back into use.

"The site will go on the market, but there is a council-appointed steering group to liaise with EA about the council taking over the site.

"There have been talks about social housing being built and a possible extension to the cricket pitch and a couple of football pitches for community groups.

"That would be the ideal solution. It would be something that would benefit the whole community and bring an end to the vandalism."

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