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Flood-hit Kopane School to be rebuilt

Flood-hit Kopane School to be rebuilt

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced the government will provide money to rebuild flood-damaged Kopane School in the Manawatu.

Kopane School, which has 19 pupils, was severely damaged when the Oroua River burst its banks in the February flooding of the Manawatu.

The rebuilding, budgeted at $290,000, will include repairing the main block of the school, ancillary sheds and swimming pool, and putting the school grounds in order.

"I had to seriously consider closing or merging the school because of its small roll, and the fact that there are two other schools, both just five kilometres away which could have taken Kopane's 19 students. However, there was strong community support for the school, so I have decided it should be rebuilt," Trevor Mallard said.

"Some buildings will become surplus, as prior to the flooding the school had spare space for another 37 students. The surplus buildings include the school house, which was vacant prior to the flood, and which the board was considering selling.

"I have asked the Ministry of Education to explore with the community options for the surplus buildings, including the school hall. It may be possible to transfer these to the community."

Planning for the rebuilding of the school will begin shortly, with the intention that the school is ready for Term 1 2005.

Kopane School is temporarily sited at Highden Manor, which is a short distance from the school site.

The Ministry of Education will be considering flood prevention measures to minimise the risk of damage to the school in the future.

Kopane is a small settlement about 16km northwest of Palmerston North.

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