Cleanup is underway after more than two dozen Hall County school buses were vandalized this past weekend.
Clay Hobbs, Transportation Director for the Hall County School System, said the damage was discovered Monday morning. Hobbs said 29 buses were parked in a lot next to the track at Johnson High School; 26 buses were damaged.
"Some people - or one person - got on each of those 26 buses, took the fire extinguisher out of the holder and expelled the fire extinguisher either outside the bus, and in about half the cases, expelled the fire extinguisher inside the bus," Hobbs said.
Hobbs said some while many of the fire extinguishers were emptied, others were stolen, so in addition to cleaning the buses, the fire extinguishers will have to be replaced or recharged. He estimated the cost of the vandalism at around $1,500.
Over and above the cost of the damage, according to Hobbs, is the logistical impact on the district's transportation department.
"This is an extremely busy time of the year for our department," Hobbs said. "We're trying to prepare the buses for the upcoming school year, plus on any given day we have anywhere from 40 to 60 buses that are on the road for various summer school programs."
As far as finding a suspect or suspects in the case, that probably won't be easy, according to Hobbs.
"[School System Safety & Security Assistant] Andy Betancourt did find one view [from a surveillance camera] but it was so far away we aren't going to be able to do any kind of identification," Hobbs said.
At Monday's school board work session, Superintendent Will Schofield acknowledged that there were no surveillance cameras close to the overflow parking area at Johnson High.
Hobbs said he has not spoken to anyone yet about additional cameras for the area; he said he's focused on getting the damaged buses back in shape.
Hobbs said a report on the incident has been filed with the Hall County Sheriff's Office.