Posted: Oct 22, 2012 8:09 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Law enforcement responded to the vandalism of a historic building in Butte over the weekend.
"We check the building as often as we possibly can. Within the last two weeks we had not been in there until Saturday of this past weekend," says Butte-Silver Bow Arts Foundation Executive Director Gretchen Miller.
On Saturday Butte-Silver Bow Arts Foundation employees discovered that someone broke into the old YMCA building.
Windows and doors were damaged to gain access.
Furniture was moved from the 3rd floor to the 2nd floor, into a room with few windows.
Paint was thrown throughout the building and up to $2,000 of valuables were stolen.
Miller says the foundation will have to foot the bill for repairs, "Where they broke in will have to be repaired and thank goodness it was discovered before more damage was done."
The break in could be motivation to get the building renovated and occupied instead of abandoned and vulnerable.
Miller says, "The building being empty and us not having the staff to watch it 24-7 has caused a lot of vandalism."
This week the Butte-Silver Bow Arts Foundation will meet with Montana Tech and Butte School District officials to discuss a possible sale of the building.
It could be turned into a Math and Science Academy for high school Seniors needing a bigger challenge.
It could also be used as a Montana Tech dormitory.
Miller says putting the building to use could prevent further vandalism.
"The foundation is very hopeful that this project with Montana Tech and possibly the school district, works out and is a benefit to the whole community," she says.
The Butte-Silver Bow Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization and was forced to close down the building because of heating costs.
In the winter the outdated heating system can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a month.
Miller says a new owner could install a modern and efficient heating system to cut down the cost of heat.