BANGS - The principal of Bangs High School has praised the district’s employees who joined forces to clean the campus after vandals trashed the new facility during a weekend break-in.

High school principal Vick Orlando said Tuesday that roughly 150 staff and faculty from throughout the district reported to the high school at 8 a.m. Monday.

“We wanted everyone to understand two things,” Orlando said. “First, to be able realize exactly what had happened, and secondly, to understand what we had in front of us.”

With all campuses and departments represented during Monday’s cleanup, Orlando said the effort put forth was “amazing.”

“There were employees and teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade who showed up to help - with no questions asked,” Orlando said. “They deployed into different areas, and got the job done.”

Orlando said all employees stayed busy with the goal of ensuring students would be back in class Tuesday.

“We had one campus principal taking out trash, while another was carrying books. Everyone pitched in to make sure the job was complete.”

The library, which was a major target of the vandals will not be open for student use for some time, Orlando said, even with Monday’s efforts.

“The library will be out of commission for a while,” Orlando said. “Several bookshelves were destroyed, and we are going to have to paint the walls and replace several ceiling tiles.”

A dollar figure to the loss had not been established Tuesday afternoon.

A stench lingered in the library where four small paper fires were set.

Employees assigned to the library clean-up concentrated on the books.

“Not only did they clean the books, but they organized and labeled them, placing them in boxes in the order they will be placed back on the shelves when the library is reopened,” Orlando said.

In order to give the employees a break, a lunch was provided by members of the First Baptist Church of Bangs, who also delivered drink coolers to the high school.

“The best way for me to say this is that this has been an incredible outpouring of love,” Orlando said. “The people around here have proven that they really love and care about one another.”

The high school has fielded several phone calls from other high schools, individuals and organizations in the area offering assistance.

“I am proud of our employees and grateful to everyone who has worked so hard for our students,” Orlando said.