Tongala Primary School's new school building is now open.February 6, 2013 4:48am
The Tongala Primary School community had good reason to celebrate the start of the 2013 school year last week.
Its long awaited new school building was open for the first time last Thursday, much to the excitement of students, staff and parents.
School principal Jacqui Pettigrove said everyone was very pleased to at last be able to occupy the new school.
‘‘It really felt like a historical moment on Thursday morning,’’ she said.
‘‘After all the stress and anticipation the dream has at last come to fruition.’’
It took a huge effort to get the building ready for the start of school as the Certificate of Occupancy was only received on January 29, two days before the start of term one.
There was still plenty of work to do early on Thursday as the new furniture only arrived at 6tham that morning.
But by 8.45tam Friday morning the students looked quite at home as they settled down for their regular start of the day reading session.
“It felt like an empty new house at first but now we’ve moved in it really feels like a home,’’ Mrs Pettigrove said.
‘‘The children are loving the different spaces and options of where to work the new building offers.
‘‘The teachers like the teaching areas and the feedback from parents has been very positive.’’
The open plan nature of the building had given some cause for concern about noise disruption between different teaching areas.
However sound proof ceilings mean areas situated next to each other do not hear the neighbouring group’s activity.
‘‘It’s so bright and airy, but not noisy. It’s just great to see the children so engaged in their new school,’’ Mrs Pettigrove said.
Construction of the new building was originally expected to begin in 2009 but funding issues delayed the start until December 2011.
The remaining old school buildings including the canteen and administration block are to be demolished during the next few weeks.
‘‘Some of the demolition work will need to be done at weekends but we are hoping all the old buildings will be gone by Easter so that we can do the landscaping,’’ Mrs Pettigrove said.
The parents and friends group organised a morning tea to celebrate the occasion on Thursday morning and the school plans to hold an official opening ceremony later in the year.
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