Work starts on leaky schools

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

Re­pair work has started on two cen­tral Auck­land schools with leaky build­ing prob­lems.

San­dring­ham’s Eden­dale Pri­mary and Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School are among four Auck­land schools iden­ti­fied as hav­ing leaky build­ing syn­drome ear­lier last year.

Three Eden­dale blocks built be­tween 1994 and 1998 were af­fected, in­clud­ing the school li­brary.

Prob­lems were dis­cov­ered five years ago and chil­dren have had to deal with class­rooms that leaked on rainy days.

Prin­ci­pal Rose­mary Vivien says she is pleased re­pair work has got un­der way and ex­pects it to be com­pleted by the end of Au­gust.

“Ev­ery­thing is go­ing ac­cord­ing to plan, the works are be­ing done and we are looking for­ward to when they are fin­ished.”

Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School’s eight-year-old 24-class­room block was built in four stages be­tween 1998 and 2002 and started to show signs of leaky build­ing syn­drome not long af­ter.

Prin­ci­pal Dale Bur­den says since the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion got in­volved with for­mer ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Chris Carter, the build­ing re­pair sped up dra­mat­i­cally.

“There’s been far more action in the last eight months than there has been in the pre­vi­ous two years. I am very sat­is­fied and grate­ful for that.”

Mr Bur­den says while work is un­der way to make the build­ing wa­ter­tight, classes have been re­lo­cated to 12 tem­po­rary pre­fabs.

Al­though both prin­ci­pals say they are lim­ited as to what can be dis­cussed be­cause their cases are be­fore the courts, Mr Dale says the min­istry has han­dled the prob­lem ex­cep­tion­ally well.

“I can’t speak more highly of the min­istry’s prop­erty divi­sion.

“They’ve been very good about this. It’s been new to them too. We were the first ma­jor school for them to deal with.”

North­ern re­gion man­ager of net­work pro­vi­sion Ray Webb, who was re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing build­ings were re­paired or re­placed to suit­able stan­dards, says the sit­u­a­tion is now be­ing han­dled at a na­tional level.

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