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Clips added to protect benches


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Clips have been placed on new benches in the Bartholomew County Library plaza to keep skateboarders from damaging the concrete seating.

In early July, library officials notified Columbus police that video surveillance showed skateboarders sliding across the benches at night after the library closed.

The new clips, installed at intervals across the top of the bench, block skateboarders from grinding along the bench edge.

Jason Hatton, assistant director at the library, said the clips were installed last week.

 

Library officials believe skateboarders scraped and scuffed three of the four benches and caused a chunk of one bench to break off during incidents July 3 and 10. The two were recorded on library security cameras that were submitted to Columbus police.

Landscape Forms, the company that manufactured the benches, added the clips and is repairing the benches at no charge, Hatton said.

“They’re about keeping customers,” he said. “It’s a proactive response on their part.”

The benches are made of a special type of Spanish concrete, with an estimated value of $5,000 per bench. The repair work should be completed next month, Hatton said.

The Columbus Police Department has interviewed a suspect in the bench incidents but does not have enough evidence linking him to the vandalism, Hatton said.

Skateboarding on the benches could be considered criminal mischief and be charged as a felony, Columbus Police Department Lt. Mike Ward said.

Since the July incident, no other security footage has shown anyone else skating on the benches, Hatton said.

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