Vandalism reported at dance studio

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The owner of a dance studio says she was stunned when she learned her building had been vandalized, and Mother Nature had compounded the problem in a big way.

Jessica Lynn Fox, the owner of 4th Avenue Arts in Huntington, says the vandalism caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.

"All through the building it was kind of raining cats and dogs," she said.

Fox says after taking a winter break, an employee went to their space in the Jeslyn Performing Arts Center on January 4 and discovered the damage.

Fox says it appears someone had gotten onto the roof and cut it open in a few places. Heavy rain led to a significant amount of water getting in, damaging the ceiling, floor, lights, and props.

"You feel a rush of anger, worry, sadness, and fear," Fox said.

Until the mess is cleaned up and repairs are made, they've been holding their classes nearby at 5th Avenue Baptist Church.

Parents are angered somebody's cruel act targeted a place that works with children.

"They're the youth in the community, dancing and trying to put some good out there," parent Leigh Ann Arbogast said. "For someone to tear up their facility like that, it's pretty senseless."

"I'm pretty heartbroken," Fox said. "I know the kids are too."

Fox says what makes it that much more frustrating is they'd completed a restoration project on the roof less than a year ago.

"To have that kind of destroyed is a pretty big blow," she said.

Fox says she's still waiting for answers from her insurance company and the police, and she's not sure when they'll be able to move back into their building.