Two individuals were discovered “living” on the roof of the Lillian P. Hussey Elementary School in Augusta, Maine, in what the school district’s assistant superintendent described as a “makeshift campsite.”
The two squatters were discovered after a custodian had reported to work after the weekend to find a ladder leaning against the school that neither belonged to the school nor was there the previous Friday, according to reporting by the Augusta CBS affiliate WGME. She then discovered the two individuals.
The assistant superintendent said police escorted the two people off the property. They were not arrested. The school official said parents reported no concerns, but CBS 13 interviewed several locals who seemed less nonchalant about the discovery.
“I don’t like the idea of it,” Augusta parent Tina Derry told CBS 13. “I get it might be a secure place for them, and they might feel safe, but being a parent and with everything going on in the world, there’s so many shootings, it’s just not safe for our children.”
According to interviews, the incident comes amid fears that the city has a “homelessness” problem, with some residents believing their property had been stolen and questioning whether the two squatters may be responsible. Others had no clue that two people had even made camp atop the school.
“There are people that cannot sustain themselves in a house or a home or a job and have to live on top of a school roof. That’s really concerning,” Augusta resident Payton Miller told Channel 13, while an adjacent homeowner expressed surprise about the discovery.
“I [am] around the school a couple times a day, every single day, and never saw any sign of anybody being there,” neighbor David Roubik said.
The assistant superintendent said the staff would not increase security, saying the school already keeps the doors locked and has cameras on site; the “campsite” area has been removed, and staff would monitor the campus before the first day of school, which begins at the end of August.