Students get ‘the best’
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.