The Kloogh family put their hands up when given the chance
to move into the old Wyllies Crossing school. Tim Brown
The opportunity to escape to the countryside was too good to
pass up for the Kloogh family.
The family of four gave up city life to move into the former
Wyllies Crossing school, on the Taieri Plain, Suzanne Kloogh
Mrs Kloogh and her husband, Geoff, lived in Maori Hill while
their children, Izzy (18) and Oliver (19), went to secondary
school but jumped at the chance to move into the converted
school in Riccarton Rd West.
When asked what made the former school a good home, Mrs
Kloogh said: ''The lifestyle and it's nice and quiet. I'm not
really interested being in the city.
''We are used to fairly large houses and it's around 400sq m.
It's got a big garage, a nice established garden and it's
nice and private because it's all surrounded by hedges.''
The other appeal was the proximity of the house to where she
kept her four horses.
The old school, which the Klooghs have lived in since last
August, was converted into a home by its Oamaru owners, Sue
and Brian Denny.
Mr and Mrs Denny bought the property about seven years ago,
after the school's closure in 2004.
The Dennys found out about the property through their
''Originally our daughter wanted to buy it but it really
wasn't suitable for her, so we decided we would buy it and
turn it into a house,'' Mrs Denny said.
The couple put a ''hell of a lot'' of work into transforming
the school into a home and had ''completely redone the
The couple tried to keep some of the school's character and
had reused aspects of it where possible, including recycling
rimu from the school to build the kitchen.
The design of the school had lent itself to being developed
into a house, Mrs Denny said.
''It's not a usual school,'' she said.
''A lot of schools are just a row of classrooms, but this is
an interesting U shape with bits sticking out of it.''
The character of the house, the size of the property and the
features of the section made it tempting to live in.
''If I was going to live in Dunedin I would live there, it's
such a beautiful place,'' Mrs Denny said.
- If there is an old school on the Taieri you are interested
in finding out about, email firstname.lastname@example.org.