A Waukesha School Board member is denouncing the person who climbed on the roof of Waukesha STEM Academy-Saratoga Campus to steal copper from a green energy project as a “crook” and a “low life.”
“The bottom line is, ‘Was it worth it?’” asked Steve Edlund, who has been working for months to convert a mechanical room in the building into a solar heating project that is also being used as a learning tool.
The thermal energy lab at the school demonstrates energy production and use for the students.
The thermal heating tank was heated up Wednesday and it was working well. The school district had 80 gallons of water that was warmed up by the sun. The water will move into the school’s hot water system. In addition to teaching students about the green technology, it’s cutting down on energy costs in the building.
“It was just great, it worked perfectly,” Edlund said. “We had 80 gallons of hot water. … That was the first and only time it ran.”
The theft was reported to the Waukesha Police Department at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday. Edlund said Friday that surveillance footage needs to be reviewed to see if the thief can be identified via the school district's video cameras placed in the area.
Edlund plans on replacing the copper pipe – which doesn’t have a significant monetary value – but it will take several hours of his Saturday to fix the damage. The board member is still “shocked” that it even happened.
“Is it really worth it?” Edlund said. “This wasn’t some boarded up house. … This is something that was attached to a school.”
If you know anything about the copper theft at Saratoga, the phone number for the Waukesha Police Department is 262-524-3831.