Vandalism at Guerry Auditorium

The Sewanee Police Department is investigating acts of vandalism that occurred in Guerry Auditorium on the University campus late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, April 27 or 28. The damage was significant; it will take a few days to determine the full extent and remediation needs.

The vandalism included broken furniture, damaged equipment, and spray paint over walls and other items. In addition, fire extinguishers were discharged over a large portion of the auditorium.

Music events scheduled in Guerry for the days following the incident were moved to other venues. The University would like to thank St. Andrew’s-Sewanee for opening McCrory Hall for a Monday evening performance.

Guerry Auditorium often is used as overflow space for the University Baccalaureate service, and it was intended to be used for this purpose on Saturday, May 11. Facilities Management is hopeful that use of the space will be possible by then, but additional cleaning and inspections must be completed before that decision can be made.

Similarly, the University is hopeful—but not yet certain—that the auditorium will be available for the start of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. More information will follow as repairs are made.

The Sewanee Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for the recent acts of vandalism that occurred in Guerry Auditorium. Anyone having any information about the vandalism is asked to contact the Sewanee Police Department (931) 598-1111. SPD Investigator Jody Bray will continue to follow every lead received.

Guerry Auditorium Vandalism: “malicious and…intentional”

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“This senseless incident is more than regrettable; it is malicious and certainly appears to be intentional. It also does real harm to the University’s program of events and, even more, to our reputation,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell in response to the destructive vandalism at Guerry Auditorium last weekend.

Facilities Management is leading the remediation with assistance from other departments who have expertise related to the systems and equipment damaged. The University predicts it will be some time before they can accurately estimate the dollar-value cost of replacing the broken furniture and damaged equipment along with the cost of cleanup and remediation necessary as a result of the fire extinguisher discharge in the auditorium and almond-colored spray paint disfiguring the furniture and walls.

Baccalaureate overflow was scheduled to be held in Guerry on May 11, and the auditorium has traditionally offered the arena for Sewanee Summer Music Festival concerts, with the festival scheduled to begin June 15. The University is evaluating the impact to all events that occur at Guerry and will share plans for scheduling going forward once the extent of the damage can be more accurately assessed.

As a result of the vandalism, there will be increased police officer presence around campus. In order not to hamper the ongoing investigation no further details about the vandalism can be released.

“We are making every effort to discover the perpetrator(s) and hope that anyone with any knowledge of the incident will come forward with that information to the Police Department,” said McCardell. “We are offering a sizable reward for information leading to the identification of those responsible.”