School pool gets new life

South Canterbury Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

Mike Ho­gan said.

‘‘It’s quite an ex­cit­ing pro­ject and the gar­den is be­com­ing a place to be. It gives the kids a real sense of own­er­ship,’’ he said.

The pro­ject had been a com­bined ef­fort be­tween be­tween pupils, teach­ers and par­ents, which came about when it was dis­cov­ered the school’s pool needed se­ri­ous work.

‘‘We were look­ing at about $40,000-plus to re­place the plant and re­line the pool,’’ Ho­gan said.

‘‘We’re not mourn­ing the loss of the pool. If some­one said ‘here’s $40,000 for the pool’ we wouldn’t take it. CBay is only 3km down the road.

He said the idea for the gar­den came out of dis­cus­sions and work be­gan in Au­gust.

‘‘It’s not just a gar­den,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re not try­ing to grow a huge amount of fruit and veg­eta­bles.’’

There were just as many flow­ers in the gar­den, he said.

‘‘We’re want­ing kids to learn the skills of grow­ing and an agri­cul­tural class has started. We want the gar­den to be a nice place to go to.’’

He has been keep­ing a di­ary of progress on the pro­ject, with pho­tos and in­put from pupils.

Board of trustees mem­bers Michael Sullivan and Vaughan Hill had of­fered their as­sis­tance, build­ing bench units and putting in raised gar­den beds.

‘‘The kids shov­elled and wheel­bar­rowed dirt into the beds.’’

This week a coat of paint was be­ing ap­plied to the bot­tom of the for­mer pool to tone down the ‘‘glar­i­ness’’, Ho­gan said.

Pupils’ art­work adorns the walls and for­mer chang­ing sheds of the pool. Trac­tor tyres and wooden pal­lets have also been used as gar­den beds.

‘‘We’ve tried to re­use things and have tried to do it as min­i­mal­is­ti­cally as we can, in terms of fi­nance.’’

Ho­gan said the pro­ject had cost about $7000 to date, with $1000 com­ing from the Fon­terra Grass Roots Fund for a hot­house.

The school had also ap­plied for fund­ing from Pub Char­ity for a shade sail.

Teacher aide Melissa Bain and her hus­band had been par­tic­u­larly help­ful with the pro­ject, Ho­gan said.

‘‘She has ter­rific knowl­edge of plants and has been help­ing out.’’

PHOTO: MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/STUFF

Putting the fi­nal touches on the gar­den ahead of its open­ing on Fri­day are, from left, Ian Wil­lis, 10, Theo McGowan, 11, Hunter Dug­gan, 5, prin­ci­pal Mike Ho­gan, Melissa Bain, Ma­son Nor­ton, 5, Zoe O’Leary, 7, and Jes­sica-May Bor­lase, 10.

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