Transformation at Tuturau delights

19:02, Nov 19 2012
Southland Times photo
Tuturau School pupils Stewart Gourlie, 11, Beth Scott, 10, David Deklirk, 10 and Jack Barnfather, 11, at the school's new administration and arts centre.

One of Southland's oldest schools, Tuturau Primary School which opened in 1870, celebrated a significant makeover yesterday.

The school is the oldest surviving school in the lower Mataura valley and the current building site is believed to be the fourth building site which was built in 1976.

More than 100 children, teachers and benefactors gathered at the school to officially open the new administration and arts area, which was completed in May this year.

Tuturau School Board chairman Grant Scott said they were fortunate to get the upgrade at the school.

Among the upgrades include a new time-out space, interview room and storage area. The arts bay area and resource rooms were also upgraded, he said.

In 2010 a proposal to bring the school "up-to-scratch" went under peer review. The upgrades made it easier for people with disabilities to access the classrooms, he said.

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"It's at quite an exciting stage; I think the future is bright for the school," Mr Scott said.

The children sang a song and three generations of a family who attended the school cut a cake. The crowd went to the school's native tree reserve to watch Invercargill MP Eric Roy plant a special tree.

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said even though the school was not in his patch, the day marked a significant event and he was pleased to take part.

"It's communities such as this that are the engine rooms of this nation."

Jim Dickie attended the school between 1941-8 and came along to mark the special occasion.

Mr Dickie was a member of the school committee during the 1976 remodelling of the current building site.

terri.russell@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times