Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

3 attempted break-ins at SCITS raise security questions

Published on

Troy Shantz

Sarnia Police have responded to three security alarms at the former SCITS building this month, increasing concern it could become a target for metal thieves.

The security system at 275 Wellington St. was triggered on Sept. 6, and then twice again on Sept. 8, just days after the Lambton Kent District School board declared the property surplus.

Sarnia Police Const. John Sottosanti confirmed a broken window was found when officers responded the first time. It’s believed someone tried to gain entrance from the roof.

A search of the building came up empty, with nothing apparently stolen or vandalized, Sottosanti said.

“Obviously, we want to make sure the school board secures the building properly to ensure that they don’t have issues that they contend with in the future.”

Last week, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley sent a letter to the board to ask about its security plans for the historic building.

“The former Sarnia General Hospital and other vacant sites have undergone great vandalism and theft with the resulting deterioration impacting negatively on the surrounding neighbourhood,” the mayor said.

“This also results in a drain on police resources.”

School board director John Howitt responded by saying a private security company has been hired to monitor and patrol the ground, especially after hours.

The board is also taking another look at its security camera coverage and lighting of the building, he said.

“We understand the community interest in the property and assure you that safety and security remain a primary concern.”

The board amalgamated SCITS with the former St. Clair Secondary to create Great Lakes Secondary. Its combined student body had attended classes at the SCITS building until June, before it moved to a rebuilt and expanded Great Lakes school on Murphy Road this fall.

The board declared the SCITS property surplus on Aug. 27 and will offer it for sale to other public institutions before placing it on the open market.

In the meantime, building is still available for community use, the board said.

More like this