More than 70 people gathered recently to say farewell to a historic classroom that is set to make way for a brand new complex.

In November 2015, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto were given the green light to redevelop the school grounds which will see existing buildings replaced with a brand new two-storey building that will provide students with a fresh, bright learning environment.

As the school bell rung for the final time recently, former students and staff reminisced about the good old days with their current counterparts and the iwi at a special karakia whakamutunga led by Ministers Te Pare Joseph and Solomon Nelson.

Longest serving staff member, and wearer of many pōtae over the years – Les Koroheke, was speechless after being given the honour of ‘turning the sod’, symbolising the start of construction for the new re-build.  He spoke about the greatest asset to our tamariki, is te reo māori and the importance of continuing to speak it.

Whānau then dined for the last time in the oldest building at the school.  Due to new earthquake guidelines, the building was not able to be saved as part of the new $6 million multi-purpose space, containing specialist learning spaces and a covered, all-weather outdoor playing area that will be built.  There will also be an improved site layout, with an upgraded car park and drop-off area, paved areas and improved drainage and playing fields.

The Learning Spaces at the Wharekura will be flexible so they can be easily reconfigured, with good internal connections and access to outside learning areas.  Acoustics, lighting, technology, heating and air quality will all be of a high standard to help students focus on the learning.  As well as meeting the needs of current students, the new facilities will also allow for future roll growth.

Tumuaki of Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, Hirere Moana says “the students will remain on site as the re-build occurs with the completion expected to be day one of Term 3, 2018”.