School start delayed due to copper thefts from new building

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BUCHANAN, Mich. The start of school for the Buchanan Middle School will be delayed because much of the building’s copper piping, wiring, and ventilation was stolen.

The new middle school was to open on September 8th.  The community passed a bond in 2013 for the new construction.

For much of the summer, the school was locked up and had nighttime security.  During a recent visit by inspectors to finalize the project, they discovered the thefts.  The thieves did not take or destroy any furniture or lockers, but only took anything dealing with the ventilation and water systems.  The building would be ready, but is now without running water and ventilation.

The Buchanan Schools superintendent tells FOX 17 that during the thefts, someone cut a part of the ventilation system that was pressurized with chemicals.  That suspect probably would have been severely burned by the chemicals.  Officials have alerted hospitals to be on the lookout for people with these types of injuries.

Anyone with information should contact the Berrien County Sheriff or the Buchanan Police Department.

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