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South Otago High School has opened its new junior technology block, which means year 7 and 8 pupils will be able to learn how to work with glass, plastics and other modern hard materials as well as learning the traditional metalwork, woodwork, cooking and textiles.
Principal Nick Simpson said the new technology block replaced what used to be the "manual" complex.
The building project had been "a long time coming", taking about five years to complete.
"From 2008, when I arrived, the project had stalled. The decision was made between the SOHS and Balclutha Primary School boards of trustees to get the project going again. It was a real team effort."
The old technology block was at Balclutha Primary School.
It consisted of two 1960s prefabs, Mr Simpson said.
"It was old and small, and wasn't practical to upgrade. Our aim was to provide a modern learning environment."
The block will be used by about 260 children from around the district, with two fulltime teachers teaching junior pupils technology.
Mr Simpson said he would not know the exact cost of the project until everything was "settled", but the final total would be in about $800,000.
The new technology block was part on ongoing renovations and modernisation work at the school, he said.