The Scottsdale Unified School District is scrambling to get ready for students on Monday after vandals broke into a bus yard over the weekend and smashed the windshields of 70 school buses.
“It’s quite a bit of damage,” said Troy Volberg of Tri State Glass, who was perched on the front of a yellow bus Saturday installing a new windshield. “We’re going to try to get them all done this weekend. It’s not going to be fun, that’s for sure.”
The incident occurred between 8:45 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Apache Bus Site, 1205 85th Way, according to Scottsdale police.
There were no leads as of Saturday afternoon, and there was no video evidence, police reported. Investigators did find a hammer and gloves at the scene that might have been used in the crime.
Police canvassed the neighborhood, but no witnesses had been identified on Saturday, police said.
The cost to repair the buses will be about $40,000, district transportation director Dan Shearer said. The windshields cost up to $300 apiece, and several of the buses needed two new panes.
Shearer said a shipment of glass should arrive this morning and the buses, which serve students throughout the district, would be ready on Monday.
“If they didn’t run, we wouldn’t have school on Monday,” he said. “It’s unfortunate there is so little respect for school property to do something like this.”
The damage was discovered when a driver showed up Saturday morning to take a bus on a field trip, Shearer said.
The bus yard is surrounded by a brick wall and patches of tall, chain link fence. One side backs up to an apartment complex with lower walls and structures close to the buses.
There are no surveillance cameras in the lot and there appeared to be only a couple lights.
The yard contains 79 buses. The nine vehicles left untouched were all smaller buses typically used for children with special needs.
The school district runs three bus yards and has 180 buses overall, said district spokeswoman Marijke Van Fleet.
As she spoke Saturday, buses from the other yards drove up to provide back-up for any other field trips or sports trips over the weekend.