Vandalism cleanup finally begins at Long Beach High

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Four months after vandals struck the girls' weight room at Long Beach High School, the female athletes can look forward to returning to the building as early as next week. On Thursday, a chemical company donated some of its products to remove the paint stains.

It was not the only support the school has received since the vandalism.

The weight room got a much needed deep cleaning Thursday. While the custodians scrubbed the workout equipment that's been splattered with maroon-colored paint, Darryl Platt targeted the stubborn stains on the walls and floor.

Platt is a Biloxi sales representative for Chemsearch, a Texas company that manufactures industrial chemicals. Chemsearch donated $2,000 worth of cleaning products to remove the mess caused by vandals back in December.

"My family is a family of school teachers and principals, and I have young children in school. When I saw your broadcast earlier, I knew the impact to a school district and I knew we have the opportunity to help," said Platt.

Platt said the industrial grade strippers and graffiti remover are environmentally friendly.

"It is coming off. It's taking a little elbow grease, but it's working," said Platt.

At times, those tough-to-reach places required old-fashioned toothbrushes.

"It's doing very well, better than my fingernails," said one lady.

The contribution meant a lot to the school that was facing $40,000 worth of damage and a $50,000 insurance deductible.

"I was humbled, and we're very thankful," said Long Beach High Principal Peter Dabbs. "I don't know what we would have done if it was not for him and his company."

The community also stepped in to help replace some of the damaged equipment. Two treadmills were donated to the school. Someone also donated a stationary bike and a business pitched in $200.

"We've got people with huge hearts and they love kids," said Dabbs.

The female athletes could be back in the building in time for their summer workouts.

"I have three boys and all of them are athletes and involved, and I couldn't imagine if something like this happened to one of their weight rooms. I hope I'm here the day they all come in and see what it looks like after it's done. Get them back in here and enjoying it," said Platt.

Platt will return to the school on Friday to finish the job, because he said some of the paint had absorbed into the rubber floor. Two Long Beach students were arrested in that vandalism case.

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