The Forties bite the dust

00:00, Jul 12 2014

A block of buildings at Queen Elizabeth College has been reduced to rubble as the school continues work on a $1.2 million upgrade.

Contractors were on site yesterday with a 14-tonne excavator to crack underfoot concrete and finish clearing the foundations and load-bearing parts of the building.

The crew had torn down the two-storey block of classrooms and sorted and shipped the materials from the site, Ian Butcher from Central Demolition said.

The exterior cladding and scrap metal were recycled but the unsalvageable internal walls, fibre board and windows were dumped.

Next week the crew will do the groundwork, building a new school road through the space and relay the lawns, Butcher said.

The job was equivalent to demolishing four double-storey townhouses.


It was expected to take three days to wreck, with another week set aside to move materials, but the demolition was delayed when the crew discovered a double ceiling in the building.

The building, nicknamed The Forties, housed about eight classrooms, computer labs and resource rooms, and was added to the school in the mid 1970s.

Principal Michael Houghton has said its demolition marked a step forward for the college in a Ministry of Education-funded upgrade.

The project, which will be done in three stages and be completed by the middle of next year, will result in school buildings being refurbished and about 10 structures removed.

The Forties block was a prominent school landmark and easily recognisable from Rangitikei St, Houghton said.

The college's technology teaching facilities would be enhanced in the upgrade so the school could take advantage of ultrafast broadband and the role the internet played in education.

The way students learnt had changed to a more self-directed approach, with teachers acting as facilitators, Houghton said.

Manawatu Standard