Cruel vandals burn down memorial library at Roundhay Primary School

More than £6,000 has been raised to replace an outdoor memorial library that was cruelly burnt down at the weekend.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 12:54 pm
Updated Monday, 28th September 2020, 1:00 pm

Three teenagers were caught on CCTV jumping the fence at Roundhay Primary School before setting light to the colourful wooden library on Saturday.

Fencing was also destroyed and a PA system used to play music to pupils at break times was damaged beyond repair.

Headteacher Alistair Field rushed to the primary school in Old Park Road when parents on social media alerted him to smoke rising from the area.

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The memorial library before and after the fire (photo: Alistair Field).

He said: "It was wood and books so it was gone within minutes. By the time we got there the fire brigade were just finishing up.

"Absolutely everything was destroyed."

Mr Field said the library was "in memory of a very special member of our community who we sadly lost last year".

The area provided a relaxing space for children to pick a book and sit on benches and bean bags during breaks.

Firefighters were not able to save the wooden library (photo: Alistair Field).

He said his main concern was telling the children about what had happened.

Mr Field held a virtual assembly this morning (Monday) to explain the situation.

He said: "They were all quite upset as they know what it represented. It was not just a library - it was a memorial to someone."

The school has now created an online fundraiser to replace what was lost, raising more than £6,000 in a day.

The fundraiser read: "A year and a half ago, we lost a very special member of our school community, and in their memory, we created a memorial, outdoor library.

"Unfortunately, on Saturday 26th September, vandals broke onto our school site and set this library alight.

"The library, its contents and surrounding fences are now all destroyed along with our outdoor PA system that was used for music during play times and lunch times.

"Please help us raise the necessary funds to replace the library and our PA system."

One parent who donated £50 wrote: "Our daughter has just started at this lovely school. The response has been fantastic.

"Hopefully through these donations Mr Field will be able to demonstrate to the kids in assembly that people are able to be immensely kind as well as incredibly thoughtless."

The target for the fundraiser has been set at £7,500 - and Mr Field hopes the cash raised will mean they can make the library even better than before.

He added: "We are so grateful to our community. It is unbelievable how much we have raised in one day.

"The whole community has really come together to support us."

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police by calling 101 and quoting reference number 1120.

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