New building finally opens at Hargest

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 10/06/2014
James Hargest College
JOHN HAWKINS/FAIRFAX NZ
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: James Hargest College hospitality student Ashley Wilson-McCarroll with principal Andy Wood at the opening of the new C block at the school.

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An arson attack on James Hargest College threw the school into turmoil and delayed future projects for years.

James Hargest College principal Andy Wood, speaking at the opening of the new C block building yesterday, said the fire meant the school had to find funding to cover costs.

The Ministry of Education decided to rebuild from ground up but using an identical floor plan.

Most of the $3.5 million cost was funded by the ministry.

A significant sum was covered by school's scheduled allocation of future funding for major maintenance and other remodel projects, which would prove challenging, Wood said.

"Sadly, this means the planned future projects at the school will be delayed by several years."

The food, fabrics and digital technology building was officially opened by past pupil Carlos Bagrie and his celebrity chef wife, Nadia Lim.

An initial modern upgrade of the building started in October 2012 but was destroyed by fire in January 2013.

Wood thanked construction workers and Invercargill City Council staff for making the new building a priority.

Those involved with creating an emergency response and a contingency plan also deserved recognition, he said.

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