New classrooms overdue but welcome

Grand opening . . . Robyn Keno (left) and her grandson Mana Fisilau (13) cut the ribbon to open the new classrooms at Oamaru Intermediate School last week.

Oamaru Intermediate School pupils are finally able to enjoy some new learning spaces.

The school unveiled two new classrooms last Friday after months of delays, school principal Rebecca Meek said.

‘‘We’ve been teaching in lots of different little spaces, so now it means we can actually have two classrooms where the students can be, rather than being in our fabric room or in another little niche in the corner of the school.’’

The classrooms were built in Christchurch and then shipped down to the school, and were fully funded by the Ministry of Education, Mrs Meek said.

‘‘It’s been a long time coming.

‘‘We were going to be in in March, at the start of the year, and then there was a hold-up [due to Covid-19]. And then, the day that our classrooms arrived was when it flooded in North Otago just recently.’’

Having these new classrooms would help the school accommodate more students, she said.

‘‘The roll just continues to grow, and it just means that it can grow without compromising the students’ wellbeing and education.’’

Oamaru woman Robyn Keno, who was one of the foundation pupils of Oamaru Intermediate almost 60 years ago, cut the ribbon to open the classrooms alongside her grandson, Mana Fisilau, a year 8 pupil at the school.

Having seen several of her grandchildren attend the school, it was a special moment to share with her youngest grandchild, she said. ‘‘It’s very exciting to be cutting the ribbon for the new classroom with him.’’

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher was at the opening, as well as Te Runanga o Moeraki upoko David Higgins and board of trustee members.