Temporary rooms put students back in class

By Sandra Conchie

Two relocatable classrooms have been carefully lifted into place at Kaka Street Special School.

The temporary rooms will fill the void left by a blaze that gutted a detached satellite classroom used by local special needs students and teaching staff.

Kaka Street Special School principal Barrie Wickens said about three-quarters of the detached double classroom building sited at Tauranga Intermediate School was destroyed in the April 14 blaze, as well as an estimated $60,000 worth of teaching resources.

The fire was caused by an electrical malfunction.

The classroom building was being used by 11 students and six teaching staff under a long-standing arrangement with Tauranga Intermediate.

Mr Wickens said the fire had been a major setback but the Education Ministry had fast-tracked funding approval to rebuild the structure with an estimated replacement cost of up to $600,000. Teaching staff spent most of their school holidays recreating some of the lost resources and Bethlehem Institute had donated 20 computers.

Mr Wickens was on hand when the classrooms arrived in three parts on trucks and were craned into place by a team from McLeod Cranes.

"This is what you call a virtual classroom ... We were expecting to have to stay over at the base school for at least five months," he said.

Students and teaching staff will move in on Monday.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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