School’s $400,000 makeover

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - MARY WITSEY

Lime­hills School has be­gun the new term with a $400,000 makeover which has trans­formed the school.

Prin­ci­pal Jim Tur­rell said he was ab­so­lutely de­lighted with the re­de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘The build­ing bet­ter helps us to or­gan­ise chil­dren for their learn­ing. It’s flex­i­ble, bright and mod­ern and the kids love it.

‘‘We’ve com­pletely re­designed the build­ing, as op­posed to a like­for-like re­fur­bish­ment and we’re very pleased with it.’’

The re­de­vel­op­ment in­cluded a new pur­pose-built wet area for art and play, re­lined walls and new ceil­ings, im­proved light­ing, sev­eral new break-out spa­ces and a teacher of­fice space.

New slid­ing doors be­tween the four class­rooms also al­lowed teach­ers to work to­gether in big­ger groups, or with a hand­ful of stu­dents in a smaller set­ting.

Earth­quake strength­en­ing was also un­der­taken.

‘‘It bet­ter re­flects how we teach chil­dren today.

‘‘Our cur­ricu­lum de­sign is all about the child, not the teacher or the build­ing.

‘‘The flex­i­ble spa­ces help us to bet­ter meet the needs of our learn­ers and they are fab­u­lous places to work and learn.’’

The re­de­vel­op­ment had been en­thu­si­as­ti­cally re­ceived.

‘‘We’re lucky at Lime­hills to have some amaz­ing teach­ers and teacher aides who do some fan­tas­tic work with our kids – now they share a mod­ern learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment which bet­ter meets their needs.’’

The four-month project hit a stum­bling block early on when as­bestos was dis­cov­ered in the roof of the school.

Work to re­move it and re­line the ceil­ings was con­ducted over the sum­mer school hol­i­days when the stu­dents and staff were away, and re­de­vel­op­ment work was con­ducted in term one, Tur­rell said.

Half of the $230,000 Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing had to be di­verted to cover the as­bestos costs, which meant that the project was scaled back sig­nif­i­cantly.

How­ever, the board of trus­tees con­trib­uted $50,000 from re­serve funds and the Home and School As­so­ci­a­tion added another $25,000 to en­sure the re­vised project would still meet the re­quire­ments of a mod­ern learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment, he said.

‘‘They both stepped up to help us and we’re very thank­ful that they did. The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing was also in­creased to meet the ad­di­tional costs of as­bestos re­moval.’’


Lime­hills School teacher aide Kerry Hen­der­son works with Emma Gill, Makayla Mar­shall and Liam Hart­ley.

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