Stu­dents get ‘the best’

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A Porirua ‘‘ dream school’’ has been given a top eco de­sign award.

Mahi­nawa Spe­cial­ist School in Els­don was awarded a ‘‘five green star’’ cer­tifi­cate this month by New Zealand’s Green Build­ing Coun­cil.

It is only the fifth school in the coun­try to make the grade. The five-star rat­ing sig­ni­fies New Zealand ex­cel­lence in green build­ing.

Mahi­nawa opened its new $8.6 mil­lion build­ing in July af­ter lan­guish­ing for years in run-down and mag­got-in­fested build­ings on Kenepuru Dr.

The new school on Taka­puwahia Dr boasts so­lar hot water heat­ing, nat­u­ral ven­ti­la­tion, full in­su­la­tion and an out­door area planted with na­tive trees.

Con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als in­cluded re­cy­cled re­in­forc­ing steel and tim­ber from sus­tain­able sources.

The green build­ing cer­tifi­cate was pre­sented to prin­ci­pal Fay Stan­ton and Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion head Karen Sewell at a school assem­bly on Septem­ber 15.

The school was a dream come true, Mrs Stan­ton told the as­sem­bled stu­dents, par­ents, teach­ers and ar­chi­tects.

Mahi­nawa’s spe­cial needs stu­dents de­served the best pos­si­ble learn­ing environment, Ms Sewell said.

‘‘They’re en­ti­tled to the best we can of­fer them, and that’s what this is.’’

Mahi­nawa School is a tem­plate of fu­ture Kiwi schools, she said.

‘‘This is one of the things of which the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry is re­ally proud.’’

Mahi­nawa stu­dents had an ex­tra rea­son to cel­e­brate at the cer­e­mony – it marked the day they were fi­nally al­lowed to walk on the new grass out­side, af­ter 18 weeks of wait­ing.

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