Pre­fabs will be ‘lovely’

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

THE head­mas­ter of an Auck­land pri­mary is feel­ing pos­i­tive de­spite a government de­ci­sion to de­mol­ish the school’s main build­ing and re­place class­rooms with pre­fabs.

Wes­ley Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Rae Parkin says the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion de­cided to pull down the school’s two-storey block be­cause of mount­ing re­pairs needed to the 1950s build­ing.

‘‘The min­istry has looked at the costs and de­cided that this build­ing is old and they can only fix it up so much,’’ she says.

‘‘It leaks and needs re­pair­ing and there are win­dows and things that you can’t get the parts for any more.’’

As well as be­ing cold and dark the Mt Roskill school has no sound-proof­ing be­tween the top and bot­tom floors.

‘‘All the classes down­stairs can here ev­ery piece of noise from up­stairs,’’ Ms Parkin says.

A bless­ing cer­e­mony was held to farewell the build­ing of nine class­rooms that will be re­placed by eight new pre­fabs dot­ted around the school field.

The pre­fabs will come from other schools and be up­graded once on site. Two pre­fabs al­ready on the school grounds will get re­fur­bished dur­ing the changes.

As yet there is no de­ci­sion to con­struct new per­ma­nent build­ings for the decile 1 school, how­ever, the ad­min­is­tra­tion area will get a makeover with a wooden-slat fa­cade and up­dated en­trance­way.

Min­istry re­gional prop­erty man­ager Brian Mitchell says the de­ci­sion not to mod­ernise the class­rooms was par­tially based on the shrink­ing roll.

‘‘Most of the school’s class­rooms and ad­min­is­tra­tion fa­cil­i­ties are in one, long two­s­torey build­ing which is now too big to sup­port the cur­rent roll,’’ he says. ‘‘About one half of its space is sur­plus.’’

There are cur­rently 195 chil­dren on the roll at Wes­ley Pri­mary, and ca­pac­ity is 240.

Mr Mitchell also says the long weath­er­board block ‘‘is at the end of its life in terms of be­ing high main­te­nance and no longer an ef­fec­tive teach­ing en­vi­ron­ment’’.

Ms Parkin says the changes are pos­i­tive be­cause the stu­dents will now have up-to-date class­rooms that are dry and warm.

‘‘It will be great for the area and good for the com­mu­nity, the chil­dren will have a lovely place of learn­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘This build­ing has got a lot of his­tory and it’s quite sad that it is be­ing pulled down but it can’t really be fixed up any more.’’

De­mo­li­tion be­gins in Jan­uary, and the new class­rooms will be blessed in Fe­bru­ary.

Mu­rals at­tached to the school build­ing will be pre­served in the changes.


Pos­i­tive change: Wes­ley Pri­mary prin­ci­pal Rae Parkin says the school’s two-storey block is be­yond re­pair and pre­fabs will pro­vide bet­ter learn­ing con­di­tions for the stu­dents.

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