Brooklyn School board says ministry inept
The Board of Trustees at Brooklyn School has branded the Education Ministry inept in a strongly worded newsletter sent to parents.
In the school's June Board of Trustees newsletter, the board said the school's building issues had been 'stalled yet again by the ministry's bureaucracy'.
The school has been facing building problems and a lack of suitable classroom space, and had been trying to find a solution for some time, the letter says.
"The historical process surrounding the fix to Room 6 (and prior building projects) has been extremely poor.
"We have been captive to MOE ineptitude that has been worsened by continual turnover of MOE staff and we now find ourselves with yet another set of officials to deal with.
"To compound matters further we found out last week that part of the cost of the fix to Room 6 and the Library/Moa Block is now going to be deducted from our strategic five year property plan."
The issue would be taken up strongly with the Education Ministry, the board said.
An Education Ministry spokesman said the building improvement team had been working on Brooklyn School for about 18 months.
After being reviewed for weather tightness issues, the school was found to meet the ministry's funding criteria for this type of work.
The work was delayed for about five months so both blocks could be completed together, and while a fencing issue was resolved.
"Remediation will always take a little longer than new construction due to inherent complexities," the spokesman said, adding that there had been no change in ministry personnel for the building improvement team since May 2011 for the project.
The entire project was funded from the ministry's building improvement fund, with no five-year property funding or other funding involved, the spokesman said.
The ministry had sent Brooklyn School a letter informing them that future weather tightness or earthquake strengthening issues would have to be paid for from the five-year property funding, like every other school in the country, he said.
The ministry did not comment specifically about the allegation of ineptitude.
Brooklyn School Board of Trustees chairman Mark Perry said the newsletter expressed a culmination of frustrations that went back more than two years.
The classroom had been unusable since then because of leaky building issues, and roll growth had compounded the problem of lack of classroom space at the school.
"We've had a classroom out of action for two and a half years, and we've been pushing to get action on it but not.
Our parents have been frustrated, and we've had to explain to them why this has been going on.
"You can be considerate that the whole country has a leaky building problem, but if your school doesn't have a classroom for two years then you need to get a response."
The board had met with the ministry yesterday, and were expecting a solution within the next week.
In 2008 a greenish black mould - known as stachybotrys - was found on the walls of a block of school classrooms.
It grows in wet building materials and is commonly found in leaky homes. Inhaling the spores can lead to a range of health problems.
It has since been removed.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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