Posted: Sep 11, 2012 10:04 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2012 7:41 AM
The owner of a concrete manufacturing company in West Liberty says his business was ripped off overnight and thousands of dollars in metal was stolen. The theft could postpone the building of the new elementary school.
West Liberty on March 2: an EF 3 tornado killed six people and destroyed most of the town. It's been more than six months since then. The town is healing. But Tuesday, there was a frustrating setback.
"When I arrived this morning, I looked and took a double take and they were gone," says Brian Wells of Wells Group LLC.
Wells says fifty braces, used as a tool when concrete walls are poured, were loaded into a trailer, were stolen from his business. That's about 10,000 dollars worth of metal and 3,000 dollars for the trailer. But it's not the money Wells is worried about:
"The main concern right now is the Wrigley Elementary School."
Because these braces were to be be used when pouring concrete walls for the new Morgan County Elementary School. That part of the construction was set to begin in a couple weeks.
"And it may take that long or longer to get the braces in that they need."
If the new braces Wells ordered today don't come in on time, the elementary school may not be finished by the fall 2013 deadline.
"I can just try to rush to get the new braces here and hope they get them in time for when the contractor's ready to start putting the walls up," he says.
In the meantime, Wells worries the kids will have to start next year in the same warehouse-turned-school-house they are in now.
"I don't know how anybody would want to do something like that to the community. Kick them while they're down. It's kind of hurtful."
Something he says isn't fair to the kids who have already been through so much.
If you have any information about the theft, call West Liberty Police.