Dannevirke High School pupils are warm and dry this winter after a $1.7 million spend on building upgrades by the Ministry of Education.

The bulk of the money involves heating with the old coal-fired boiler being replaced by two gas-powered furnaces fed by pipes in King and Queen Streets.

Of the $1.7 million, $470,000 has been spent on re-roofing the D-Block wing along King St, the Technical Block and the Mathematics-IT wing.

Principal Di Carter is particularly pleased the D-Block wing has been saved from demolition, fighting with the ministry to save it, arguing its demolition would expose the whole school to the westerly winds.

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Old lighting in the gymnasium was replaced with LED lighting at a cost of $23,000.

Money has just been granted for asbestos testing throughout the school.

Matching the expenditure in buildings are new curriculum initiatives with seniors involved in Gateway programmes to further their skills and employment potential.

Seniors have been involved in barista and chainsaw courses with more planned for next term.

Meeting the needs in IT has seen the removal of the old computer suite in the library and its replacement with mobile sets of laptops to be used by senior students in any classroom in the school. This has brought much improvement in many subjects.