No more damp, smelly days at the desk

NADIA STADNIK
Last updated 05:00 08/06/2012
woodleigh stand
NADIA STADNIK
Pupils from New Plymouth's Woodleigh School who will be in a new classroom when they get back from their school holidays.

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Woodleigh School is to get two new classrooms and a library in a project worth more than $800,000.

The Education Ministry is funding $650,000 of the cost and the school is paying the rest after three junior classrooms were declared unfit for a learning environment.

"A survey was done of the buildings by the ministry last year and they were deemed to be of poor quality, and that it was a better option to replace them than to refurbish them," principal Clyde Pearce said.

It was originally planned to use the prefabricated classrooms for three years but they had been in use at the school, which has a roll of 360, for about 30 years, Mr Pearce said.

"The ministry have given us money to build three new classrooms, so we're building two new ones and a new state-of-the art library block and turning our library back into a classroom."

Architects were still finalising plans for the new classrooms and the existing buildings, some of which were leaking, would be vacated before the school holidays later this month.

Junior teacher Deborah French said her class of 5-year-olds had mixed feelings about not returning to room 11 again after the break, and many would be sad to see it go.

"I've had lots of questions about when is moving day. I think they're quite excited about it, and particularly interested in seeing the class come down," Ms French said.

She said the existing classroom was cold and damp in winter. "The problem with this class is that it has no insulation and leaks like a sieve, the classes are damp and smelly and they've done their time."

Woodleigh is one of five schools nationwide to receive ministry funding under its Building Replacement Project.

Nadia Stadnik is a Witt journalism student

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