Happy with new spaces

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After a $900,000 renovation project, classrooms at East Otago High School are working well and allowing pupils to learn in a far more open environment than before, the college’s deputy principal says.
Keith Fleury said he was pleased with the results of the project and what he was seeing and hearing from pupils and teachers as they worked in their new surrounds.
“Emphasis was on linking indoor and outdoor spaces to maximise the opportunities for teaching and learning.
“Co-operative learning was a key consideration when designing the inside spaces, while bright colours were also key to creating an environment conducive to student-centred learning.”
The project, called Innovative Learning Environment, ran on time and came in under budget, he said.
He said the building scheme was run well and the contractors were understanding.
“We think the old A Block was built back in 1952, looking at some old plans, and was badly run down with leaking roofs, holes in the floor and rooms that were cold to work in.
“Teachers worked hard to get the most from their students, but the environment was just out of date and it was difficult to be creative and innovative in their teaching practice.
“Our aim was to provide a stunning space for our year 7 and year 8 students to replace the very old and outdated block they were housed in.
“Three rooms were completely renovated, being gutted from top to bottom.
“At one stage, demolishing the block was being considered as that may have been more cost-effective. However, it was decided that renovation was the best option.”
All three rooms were now linked with two breakout spaces, providing flexibility.