School celebrates end of an era
30 June 2015
SUCCESS EVENING: Opal-Jae Herbert, Rangimari Teirney and Anahera Hiraka perform during the kapa haka section of the Celebrating Success dress rehearsal. Photo Megan Hunt
A CELEBRATION of student achievement at Tarawera High School on Wednesday was the last major event held in the school’s hall before its demolition.
The Celebrating Success evening began with a midday dress rehearsal of cultural, musical and dance performances for an audience of residents from Kawerau’s Mountain View Rest Home.
From 2.30pm the hall was open to the public, with displays of student’s work, food prepared by students and displays of photos from Kawerau College.
Ministry of education staff, previous Kawerau College principals, and the personal assistant to the school’s first principal were invited for the evening performances, which began at 6pm.
Principal Helen Tuhoro said the celebration and blessings of the buildings marked for demolition was the equivalent of a funeral to acknowledge the spirt and learning that took place within the school’s walls.
At 5am yesterday morning the new buildings were blessed and staff began moving into the learning common and administration block.
When term three begins on July 20, the theatre and hospitality block will also be ready to use, and today two trucks with $100,000 of furniture will arrive to fill the new blocks.
By July 3 the water, power, phone and internet will be cut off to the old school and asbestos will be removed to prime the buildings for demolition.
During terms three and four students will be split between the new and old buildings, with a construction site in the centre. The official unveiling of the completed school is planned for January 2016.
Mrs Tuhoro said during an assembly on June 22 the students glimpsed the inside of the new school for the first time when staff shared photos of the buildings.
“Up to now they have only seen architectural drawings and impressions of what it will look like, and Monday’s assembly was the first time they have seen the real things,” Mrs Tuhoro said.
The interior looked industrial, with exposed pipes above the class rooms and glass surfaces for writing, she said.
The new buildings were also designed with the environment in mind. They should stay warm in winter and cool in summer, with power provided from the site’s solar panels.
Mrs Tuhoro said the school was trying to give back as much as possible. Curtains from the old buildings were donated to the Eastern Bay Curtain Bank and old resources were boxed up and sent to Vanuatu, along with surplus furniture.
Source: Whakatane Beacon