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Items stolen from retired Cortez high school

$5,000 worth of equipment taken from gym
Demolition of the retired Montezuma-Cortez High School started last month. A demolition crew reported that several items were stolen from the site last week.

Nearly $5,000 worth of tools was stolen from a demolition crew at the retired Montezuma-Cortez High School on Seventh Street on June 2, according to the Cortez Police Department.

A project manager for Colorado Hazard Control, which is handling asbestos abatement work at the school, arrived at the site about 9 a.m. and discovered that tools and copper pipe had been stolen from the old gym, according to a report from police officer Frank Kobel.

Extension cords, ladders and paint sprayers were among the stolen items, which were valued at a total of $4,991.

None of the items had been recovered as of Wednesday afternoon, and there were no suspects or arrests, according to police.

Also on June 2, two windows were reported broken at Mesa Elementary School, a mile west of the retired M-CHS on Seventh Street, according to police. The damage at Mesa was estimated at $800. It was unclear whether the incident at Mesa is related to the M-CHS theft, police said.

Other than the stolen items, Re-1 District Owner’s Rep Jim Ketter said the demolition project is on schedule. The first phase of asbestos abatement and demolition involves the building’s 1979 addition, including the auxiliary gym, Ketter said.

That phase is scheduled to be completed this month. The entire site is scheduled to be clear by the end of the year, he said.

“We’re trying to make it work as fast as possible,” Ketter said.

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