Education Minister Hekia Parata and Carisbrook School
principal Ben Sincock at the official opening of Carisbrook
School in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
After spending nearly two years organising a colourful
outdoor event to celebrate one of its most important milestones
in recent history, Carisbrook School was hoping mother nature
would be a bit more supportive.
Alas, a beautiful sunny morning was not to be for the
school's official reopening yesterday.
But pupils and staff at the new school took yesterday's wet
weather in their stride, and even joked about it with
Education Minister Hekia Parata who came to Dunedin
especially to open the facility.
''I'd like to say it's very unusual for the weather to be so
wet like this,'' principal Ben Sincock joked, as Ms Parata
cut the official ribbon inside the school hall rather than
outside, in front of one of the school's new teaching blocks.
Ms Parata congratulated Mr Sincock for turning ''the
chrysalis'' that was formerly Caversham School into the
beautiful modern learning environment that was now Carisbrook
She encouraged pupils to ''work hard, but enjoy your new
school, and engage in your learning''.
College Street School, Caversham School and Calton Hill
School were merged into Carisbrook School in 2012.
However, after community consultation, it was decided to
leave the Calton Hill site open as a second campus, with an
option to review its viability at a later date.
College Street School also remained open during 2012 and 2013
because there was no room for the pupils at the new
Carisbrook School site until the $5.6 million two-stage
redevelopment of existing buildings was completed.
The project's completion in February this year means the
school now has two campuses, not three, and all 100 pupils
from the former College Street School have now moved into the
21-classroom Carisbrook School.
Mr Sincock said few would recognise the former Caversham
School now. He paid tribute to staff and pupils for their
support and enthusiasm, despite having to work and learn in a
construction zone and across three sites.
It was clear the pupils loved their new surrounds because
absenteeism at the school had never been so low, he said.
''It tells us you're enjoying coming to school and
Ms Parata also visited St Clair School to view a building
redevelopment project there, and spoke at a public meeting at
the Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre where she gave
an overview of education funding in the 2014 Budget. The
meeting was attended by about 50 people, including teachers