School pool gets new life
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.’’
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.