Repairs at WMC nearly complete
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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Repairs at WMC nearly complete

Just two days after the Woolwich Memorial Centre was vandalized in the early hours of January 1, police arrested two young males from Elmira and Kitchener in connection to the crime.

The youths, both age 13, were charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, mischief over $5,000, and possession of stolen property by detectives from the General Investigations Division. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, they can’t be identified.

The suspects were arrested separately on the morning and afternoon of January 3, and held in custody at a police facility with their parents present. The Waterloo Regional Police Service could not confirm if blood found throughout the WMC belonged to one of the youths, but did confirm that one of the suspects was injured.

The fitness centre window is one of the few repairs still to be done.[Will Sloan / The Observer]
The fitness centre window is one of the few repairs still to be done. [Will Sloan / The Observer]
“It was a combination of tips from the community and investigative work by the detectives,” said Staff Sgt. Shaena Morris.

“We certainly would not have been able to make any arrests so quickly without help from the community.”

Due to their age, the youths were released into the supervision of their parents the same day as the arrests and charges.

The case will be heard under the Youth Criminal Justice Act on February 24. Police do not anticipate further arrests related to this incident.

Meanwhile, repairs at the WMC are nearing completion, with only the windows at the pools (facing the hallway) and the upstairs fitness centre outstanding. Township staff does not yet have a timeline for installation of the windows, which were custom-designed and take longer to replace. (The empty panels are boarded up with plywood).

The pools were filled on Wednesday, with temperature and chemical levels tested in the following days; both are targeted to open today (Saturday), with swimming lessons starting Monday. The fitness centre is also scheduled to reopen.

An initial quote from the January 2 cleanup pegged damages around $100,000. The replacement windows have not yet been priced, and an official final tally has not yet been released.

In response to criticism that the facility was not equipped with a security system, a temporary alarm system is being plugged in every night until a permanent system is finalized. Mayor Todd Cowan said security at the WMC would be a key priority in this year’s budget, now under discussion.

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2 comments
  1. the township is so new to multi-sport/multi-use facilities, it’s no surprise that they lacked a properly security system. It won’t be surprising either when all the lawsuits start to happen over silly little incidents – or how about the unionized staff walking off the job cause they township has failed to ensure their safety while at work. . .

  2. Safety for the employees should have been the first concern (#1 priority), not some ‘custom’ glass panes. I sure hope that the unionized staff have discussions on their safety with their union representative as it’s not right that the Township of Woolwich is more concerned with some glass/door damage, rather than the protection of employees. Cameras and security system are very helpful in protecting the employees that work there day in day out and…they are a huge deterrent for criminals, but it also would have given footage and evidence for the police to file a more sound criminal case. Oh, and please do not force the tax payers to pay for all this damage and the new system – find the money some other way (maybe reduce the salaries of your senior staff – rec director – who get paid more than what they should as obviously they dropped the ball big time!).

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