Nonprofit education center vandalized in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Vandals targeted a Providence-based nonprofit this week and left behind thousands of dollars in damage.

Education in Action services public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. It converted its facility into a makeshift city to give students workforce training.

The suspects not only spray-painted graffiti and broke glass Wednesday night, but also stole the copper piping that heats and cools the building.

Executive Director Hank Johnson said when he discovered the damage to his facility, he couldn’t help but feel frustrated and sad for the kids.

Dozens of students from two elementary schools in Warwick visited Friday, but because of the stolen copper, they spent time inside on a warm day with no air conditioning.

“For a small organization like us, to have to come here to deal with something like that instead of spending time with the kids who have worked so hard to be here, and this is their day and they’re up there sweating and just being overheated, and it’s just so horrible,” he said.

Johnson and his small staff are now faced with thousands of dollars in damage. He said police plan to increase patrols in the area, but he’s also hoping the public can help them out.

“This didn’t take two minutes to do. Somebody had to have seen something,” he said.

Johnson said he’s considering raising money to buy surveillance cameras.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121.

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