No longer will the pupils of Tua Marina School have to cross State Highway 1 to get to assembly - their long-awaited school hall was officially opened on Friday.
Ex-Koromiko School pupil Rita Mayo-Brooking and Tua Marina School's oldest pupil Braydon Pettigrew helped Mayor Alistair Sowman cut the ribbon and declare the hall open last week.
Principal Cheryl Wadworth acknowledged Ngati Rarua, the mayor, Ministry of Education representative Allan Roberts, board of trustee members, parents and the children for their support.
"Thank you all for coming to the opening of this wonderful new hall that we once thought we would never have."
She was pleased the 128 children would no longer have to cross State Highway 1 and the main trunk railway line to use the Tuamarina Waikakaho Memorial Hall across the road, which was too dangerous for them, Wadworth said.
She was "excited and grateful" that the hall was finally complete, she said.
Moving the 19-year-old building had a huge impact on the school. It allowed them to have a hall on site where they could hold assemblies, performances, meetings and inside sports when was raining, Wadworth said.
The starting using it in Term 4 last year.
"We are getting an amazing amount of use out of it . . . it's an amazing, valuable resource to have," she said. "Now that we have it I don't know how we went on without one. We've now got this fabulous facility to use for various occasions."
The hall was relocated from the old Koromiko School.
It had been an expensive project, but the school's board of trustees had been saving in the hope of shifting the Tuamarina Waikakaho Memorial Hall, Wadworth said.
"The ministry donated the building but we had to cover the rest of the costs. It was quite substantial . . . it cost us a lot of money but we are getting a lot of pleasure out of it.
"The closing of Koromiko School was sad but it has benefited us."
Barney Thomas, who spoke on behalf of Ngati Rarua, said they were thrilled to be invited to the hall opening ceremony.
Thomas said the school was "blossoming and flourishing" before everyone's eyes.
"It doesn't matter what you believe - if you do it right from the start and have the right intentions, it's a step in the right direction."
Sowman said he was always impressed when visiting Tua Marina School.
"The progress I've seen over this year is remarkable and to finally see what we've got here today . . . good things come to those who wait.
"We worked hard with the people of Rarangi and Tua Marina and got it here," Sowman said.
"It shows you if you put a heck of a lot in you get a heck of a lot out. It was a privilege to come out here and cut that ribbon here today."
Tua Marina School dropped plans to move the Tua Marina and Waikakaho Memorial Hall across the road to the school in 2012 after opposition from the community.
- The Marlborough Express
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