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After a recent $230,000 refurbishment the Hampden School has been officially reopened by former principal Ann Coe, of Moeraki.
Originally built in 1864, the school was rebuilt in 1890 and the school buildings had been modified on several occasions, principal John Laing told the assembly of pupils, parents and Hampden and Moeraki residents.
The school roll was 20 when the school opened in 1864, he said.
The roll rose to 153 in 1895 and the school became a district high school for several years in the 1900s, with a secondary department.
As the Waitaki high schools developed, secondary school children went by train and later by bus from Hampden to Oamaru.
The current school roll is 33 pupils. The gym was built in 1905.
The school house was built in 1954, followed by the dental clinic in 1962 and the school pool in 1963.
Half of the reading syllabus when the school opened in 1864 was from the Bible, Mr Laing said.
Arithmetic, grammar and geography were the other major subjects at that time.