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Quake site schools get word on damage

Wednesday 13 Feb 2013 5:29 p.m.

Nearly two years on from the February 22nd earthquake in 2011, two Christchurch high schools have finally found out how damaged their land is.

Geotechnical reports have been delivered to Shirley Boys and Avonside Girls, with two different outcomes.

To the uneducated eye, the land at Shirley Boys High School seemed fine but the report says land under the school is prone to liquefaction and would cost more than $12 million to fix.

“They would have to put concrete bunkers if you like or walls under the ground to hold the ground together. Even then there's no guarantee it would work,” says Shirley Boys High School principal John Laurenson.

He is hopeful about the school's future after meeting with the Ministry of Education this week, and is confident the school will be able to shift to a new site athough any move is likely to be at least four years away.

Just a few blocks away the geotechnical report on the land at Avonside Girls' is far more positive - engineers say the rebuild can go ahead on its current site.

“We were reasonably confident that the site had held up well and that a significant portion of the site would sustain building - so it was really good to have that confirmed,” says principal Sue Hume.

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