CHESHIRE — Another incident of vandalism at a former factory being renovated into an arts and commercial complex has prompted project officials to take more preventative measures.
Corey Nash, a member of the Ball & Socket Arts Project board of directors, called police earlier this month after being notified by an independent contractor who was working at the site about a group of “suspicious-looking young males” who had entered the property on West Main Street.
“We have frequent site inspectors who come and go on the property as needed, and on this particular day one of them heard a noise and saw a few teenagers hanging around the area,” said Nash. “It turns out, someone had made a makeshift ladder and tried to get up on the roof of one of the buildings. There’s a lot of broken windows, and they damaged some of the things that we put in place to try and stop them, like our gates and walls.”
The April 5 vandalism, which occurred in the early evening, comes just weeks after the Ball & Socket Arts project announced plans to open Building 2 to tenants, six years after beginning the historic restoration project. While the vandalism will take time to address and fix, both Nash and fellow board member Ron Bergamo are adamant that this recent incident doesn’t set their summer opening timeline back.
“This is really (the last straw) for us,” said Bergamo. “Last November, we had a really expensive theft...It’s so disappointing that we’ve worked so hard to do this and there are some people in town who just want to destroy property for fun.”
In order to curb theft and vandalism, the board has taken a variety of preventative measures at the West Main Street property. Nash said they recently purchased a $5,000 surveillance system and spoke with police about increasing patrols around the area.
“We’ve tried putting in covers on the ladders that are outside, we’ve put up gates and walls, but they just keep getting in,” said Nash.
Nash is also concerned that someone might get injured.
“It’s an incredibly old building, and people can really get hurt if they climb up onto a roof that is not structurally sound,” he said.
If you have any information about the vandalism, police ask you to call the non-emergency line at (203) 271-5500.