POLICE have condemned a "mindless" vandalism attack on the old St John's Primary School in Dennington over the weekend.
Between 5pm on Friday night and 1pm on Sunday the old school grounds on Raglan Parade were entered and rocks and bricks used to smash every window on the northern side of the school building.
Police said the vandals have then gained access to the school and smashed internal windows before leaving.
About 31 windows were smashed during the rampage.
Staff from the school inspected the scene with police on Sunday and the total cost of the vandalism was still being assessed.
School principal Kathy Dalton told The Standard the extent of the damage was upsetting for staff and students.
"It was so distressing to come here yesterday and to see where we had taught and been part of for so long," she said.
"It's just heartbreaking. It will affect those students who were once part of the school. I know how upset I was.
"It's just a lack of respect."
The new school at Russell Street was opened in June last year and the old school site will eventually be for sale.
St John's Parish priest Michael Linehan said there had been no reason for the damage apart from some sort of thrill.
"It's dreadful and there is no point except for entertainment," he said.
"I was just shocked, saddened, distressed and felt helpless.
"Kathy rang me to tell me 20 windows had been broken and it turned out to be more than 30.
"The school has been the victim of vandals at various times, including broken windows and damage to outside furniture, but not like this."
Detective Senior Constable Jason Bourke, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit (CIU), said the amount of damage caused to the school was atrocious.
"It is just mindless vandalism which shows a total disregard for other people's property," he said.
Staff from the school inspected the damage with police yesterday and the total cost of the damage is still being assessed.
Detective Senior Constable Bourke appealed to anyone with any information to contact Warrnambool CIU or CrimeStoppers.