Smells like a million dollars' worth

One of Fairfield School oldest pupils, Mikayla Preston and the school's youngest, Calla Weir, cut...
One of Fairfield School oldest pupils, Mikayla Preston and the school's youngest, Calla Weir, cut a ribbon yesterday to officially open a new classroom block.PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Fairfield School pupils were greeted by a million-dollar-plus makeover when they headed back to school after the term break yesterday.

One of the school's oldest pupils, Mikayla Preston (13), and the youngest pupil, Calla Weir (5), who started school yesterday, cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the $1.4 million co-operative learning space.

As the school's 428 pupils rushed inside to look at the new classrooms, principal Andy Larson said he was ``thrilled'' to have the space filled with pupils.

Replacement of four prefabricated rooms placed at the school in 1979 had been planned for about five years, he said.

He hoped the new open-plan building would enable pupils to learn in a ``hands-on way''.

The building would house years 7 and 8 pupils, with two classrooms connected by a communal kitchen, for use by everyone at the school.

Teaching methods had changed drastically and it was important the physical environment fostered the more collaborative style of learning offered now, Mr Larson said.

Year 7 pupil Neko Macaskill (11) said the new space was ``really neat''.

``It sounds weird [to say this], but it smells good.

``It's got that shoebox smell.

``There is also way more room.''

margot.taylor@odt.co.nz

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