A decile one primary school in Auckland is the latest victim of the Mainzeal collapse.
Wesley Primary students poured into the school this morning, in the hope of having eight new classrooms. Instead, they had to hang their bags in an old, leaky building which has been destined for destruction.
Mainzeal had been contracted to demolish a 60-year-old two-storey classroom block at the Mt Albert school and move in eight new pre-fabricated rooms which would be warmer and quieter.
But, after going bust last week, Mainzeal has deserted the premises - leaving only half-finished buildings with trenches, holes and dirt piles littered all over the grounds.
Principal Rae Parkin wouldn’t comment on the issue this morning, but a spokesperson confirmed the school was open.
One of the school’s volunteers, Mt Albert Baptist Church associate pastor Jeff Orr, says staff have done an incredible job to get the school ready.
“The principal is an inspiration and has opened the school today regardless of the mess of unfinished classrooms, ripped up asphalt, and overgrown fields.”
Mr Orr says the playground and sandpit are off-limits and the school has to make do with a maze of temporary fences blocking off trenches next to hallways.
“It’s not a great start for the kids. It’s overgrown and there’s no playground and the area’s pretty depressed. I guess you’ve got to do something with it,” he says.
Electricians were onsite this morning to get power to classrooms, the school hall and the alarm system.
Mr Orr says he has his doubts about how quickly the Education Ministry would act in getting the project up and running again.
“If it was a school in a well-off suburb, there’s no way the Ministry would have mucked around like this, in this predicament of running so close to the wire.”
Two security guards were guarding the building site today.
source: newshub archive