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Tarawera High School nears opening
27 January 2016
Tarawera High School nears opening

TARAWERA High School is shaping up as buildings are turned to rubble and classes are filled in preparation for an official opening on Friday.

Principal Helen Tuhoro said the process began 18 months ago and throughout that time a lot had changed in the school – building and students wise.

This week marked the last stage of the demolition with two blocks coming down, leaving only three buildings standing from the original school.

The demolished buildings will provide open space for a grass area and a junior playground.

The $15.7 million renovations included new, purpose-built classrooms, astro turf, a rock-climbing wall, performing arts centre, hospitality block and wharenui.

The developments, new facilities and equipment at Tarawera High School gave the students an opportunity to learn and meant they would feel it was better to be at school than away because exciting things were happening, Mrs Tuhoro said.

“[The school], is giving the kids hope. If you come to an old school that leaks and its cooler to wag because there’s more fun things to do than at school, there’s not a lot of hope. Now, the kids are coming in, there are cool facilities, and they are achieving so they want to be here.”

She is looking forward to the last of the demolition and the school’s opening because for the past 18 months her job has focused on buildings, finances, facilities, and demolition rather than people.

“I really enjoy working with teachers and students. I’m not necessarily a person that has great expertise at working with contractors and builders. The thing for me is I want to get on with my job and my job is based on teaching and learning.”

Tarawera High School will be officially opened on Friday at 1pm.

Education minister Hekia Parata is expected to attend along with the Ministry of Education representatives, the school’s architects, chief executive officers from the Kawerau mills, Eastern Bay school principals, former staff and representatives from Kawerau agencies involved with the school.

Source: Whakatane Beacon

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