LAS CRUCES, N.M — A playground at Mesilla Elementary is a total loss after catching fire Wednesday evening.
School officials say the fire started at about 5 p.m. and believe it was intentionally set.
Teachers and staff at the school say the playground was fully engulfed in flames.
The total cost of the damage is estimated at about $175,000.
"That is our taxpayers money burnt up in flames because we all pay taxes and it goes to the school district to provide quality equipment for our kids and we understand that's important even for the community," said Todd Gregory of Las Cruces Public Schools.
Las Cruces Public Schools has increased security in preparation for the holiday break.
They also have asked local law enforcement agencies to patrol the area more often.
People are asked to call police if they see any suspicious activity at any of the schools.