The Clarkfield High School was vandalized sometime between Friday evening (April 27) and Saturday (April 28) morning. The discovery was made by Clarkfield Mayor Dale Stringer, III, and Council member Dale Stringer, Jr. Saturday afternoon. While surveying the damage, they encountered two juveniles. After asking if either of them saw anything, one confessed while the other denied any wrongdoing. The two city officials took down their names and addresses, and reported them to the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff.
Stringer Jr asked the suspected vandal why she damaged the property. The girl replied that they had heard the building was haunted and wanted to find out for themselves. The girl who confessed to the vandalism is from Clarkfield, while her companion is from Granite Falls.
According to Sheriff Bill Flatten, the damage was largely confined to the ground level floor of the north side of the building. He said that a Sentence to Serve crew spent Monday and Tuesday “covering the broken windows with boards to keep people out.”
The property is owned and managed by Yellow Medicine County. Property & Public Services. Director Janel Timm said that “our number one concern with the old Clarkfield School property is that no one gets hurt. The building is not safe and every incident of vandalism makes it even less so.” Because the majority of vandalism at the site has been committed by juveniles and young adults, she urged parents to talk with their about the dangers and possible consequences.
Additional safety measures are already in place, including the installation of motion sensitive cameras remotely connected to County offices.
The damaged section is due to be demolished at a latter date and is not part of the proposed community center portion of the structure.