Penn Wood High School reopens in Lansdowne

LANSDOWNE, Pa. - September 3, 2013

It was back in April that an arsonist set fires inside the school building. Police investigated and released surveillance footage of the incident.

11th grade student Susan Bailey tells Action News, "I was scared, to be honest. I didn't know what we was going to do, and I didn't know how our school was going to get fixed."

The students from Greene Avenue finished out the rest of last school year at Penn Wood's Cypress Street campus in Yeadon on a split schedule. But the hits kept coming.

Over the summer $15,000 worth of musical equipment was stolen from the shuttered building as repairs were being made.

Just days before last week's regular season home opener, $10,000 worth of football equipment was stolen, that included at least 20 helmets and 13 shoulder pads.

The community came to the rescue, sending over equipment in time for their game against West Chester East, where Action News spoke to Penn Wood's principal who is eager to get the new school year underway.

Dr. Brandon Cooley said, "We are putting it in the past as much as possible - the challenges. We're looking forward to the beginning of the school year."

He also added that a couple of the classrooms need a little bit of work, but for the most part the renovations are done. As for security concerns, the school updated their surveillance system that runs at all hours of the day and night and they have added an extra security guard.

"I think it's kind of good to be back in the building at the start of my senior year," said Kevani Ferguson. "...And just getting back to the old Penn Wood."

Dr. Cooley said he still hopes justice is served and reminded us that there is still a $22,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the arson case.

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