ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A southeast Albuquerque school for the blind is getting money to protect against vandals after years of problems but it has some wondering if there is a larger issue of increased crime in the area.
Just over the past two years, the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in southeast Albuquerque has been the site of at least seven crimes, including burglary, breaking and entering and vandalism.
It is a place where 3 to 6-year-old, particularly vulnerable children go to learn.
That is why the state, county and the city are taking swift action to keep it safe by helping build a fence around it.
"It is a really good collaboration where we can protect the students because they suffer every time these vandals come and destroy their property," says Maggie Hart Stebbins, Bernalillo County commissioner.
School superintendent Linda Lyle says the state found nearly $100,000, the city approved $100,000 and now Bernalillo County commissioners are set to vote Tuesday to give $50,000.
The fence will extend from an existing wall to surround the perimeter. The superintendent says she hopes they can get started on the work while students are out on winter break.
"We have the fence designed and as soon as we have funding secured, we will issue a notice to proceed," Lyle says.
"I am not sure the fence by itself will solve the problem," says Wayne Johnson, Bernalillo County commissioner.
He says he expects the county to approve funding for the fence, but he is also talking to the sheriff's department to look at whether or not there is a larger issue of crime in the Sandia Science and Technology Park, where the school is located.
"The Tech Park in itself is an economic asset to the community, so we really want to make sure it's protected," Johnson says.
He hopes to have more information from the sheriff's department on security in the area, so he can raise the issue at Tuesday's meeting.
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