Vandals cause major damage at Washington center for the deaf

Vandals do major damage to Wash. deaf school

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The Southwest Washington Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has helped thousands of people over the years and now the folks there are left to clean up the damage after a vandalism spree inside.

The windows boarded up on the outside of the building are just the start.

"We could not believe it. Every window in the place was broken. Every door was damaged," said CEO Terese Rognmo. "It seemed to be just for destructive purposes."

There were security cameras in place after a graffiti incident earlier in the year. But Rognmo said the vandals ruined the center's electronic systems and took the security camera recorder while they were at it.

They left broken glass everywhere and smashed the video monitors used for the video relay phone system. That's how the deaf are able to communicate with others outside the center.

Insurance doesn't cover the cost of the damage, which the nonprofit's board of directors estimate must be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

'We want to be a place that’s accessible and friendly and warm, and with lots of resources," Rognmo said. "So it hit me very hard, and as a deaf person myself to realize that we can be victimized so easily.

"What did we do to deserve this?"

Investigators said Friday they weren't sure whether it was a random or targeted attack. If you have information about it, call Vancouver police.

The center will work to clean up the mess and add a more advanced security system. Meanwhile to help with the cost, they've set up a GoFundMe page. Click here to donate

© 2017 KGW-TV


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