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Flood damaged school re-opened

Tue, 1 Feb 2005

Flood damaged school re-opened

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Education Minister Trevor Mallard today officially re-opened Kopane School after it was severely flood damaged last year.

The Manawatu school was left with severe flood damage after the February floods caused structural and water damage to the school buildings. The government approved $290,000 for the reinstatement of the school in June 2004.

"The damage that occurred to Kopane School was a consequence of the worst flooding in the Rangitikei District in living memory," Trevor Mallard said.

"I commend the board, staff and students for their ability to keep their school operating from temporary accommodation for nearly a year, while the decision on the school's future was made and the subsequent refurbishment completed."

"Some people have asked why Kopane has remained open and larger schools within network reviews have been closed throughout New Zealand. The reason for rebuilding Kopane School is recognition of community need in devastating circumstances.

"Closing the school would have just been unfair in the circumstances, taking advantage of a disaster rather than following a proper and careful process."

The school was temporarily located at Highden Manor, which is a short distance from the school site while the refurbishment continued. Contractors worked throughout the holiday period to ensure the school was ready and safe for the beginning of the 2005 school year.

"The reinstatement of Kopane School shows the hard work and the community endeavour that has gone on to bring normality back to the lives of all those affected."

"Kopane School is very fortunate to have such strong community support, including from the owners of Highden Manor who provided the temporary accommodation for the school, including a safe learning environment, all within a close distance from Kopane."

ENDS

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