HVHS Board of Trustees Property Update -Issue 1 – May 2021
Thank you to all of you who attended the Public Meeting on 6 May to discuss the current mould issues the school is facing. It is a very difficult challenge for the school, one which our Acting Principal and her team have addressed remarkably well in the circumstances. As the father of a Year 12 student I share other parents' concerns about getting our children back on the school campus as soon as we can. A number of you raised concerns at the meeting and it is important we continue to provide regular updates on progress, and I will undertake to do so on behalf of the Board. If there are particular concerns or areas of clarification that you would like me to expand on, I will endeavour to do so in my next update. All updates will be emailed to families and updated on our website (https://www.hvhs.school.nz/news)and facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/hvhs.school.nz). You can also email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff are working hard to keep in touch with students on the days they are home learning. The feedback suggests that some are finding it difficult to motivate themselves at home. We strongly recommend that students use the Market Grove Hub. The habit of getting to school, albeit in a different location, is motivating in itself.
Staff are tracking student attendance and performance closely; however, they welcome any communication from home. It is best to let staff know as early as possible if you think your child is falling behind. There is a lot we can do to support their learning and NCEA assessment. Email the subject teacher in the first instance.
Please note that guidance and career counsellors are also available to assist.
Current testing and Remediation
The Ministry of Education is continuing to remediate classrooms around the school. There are a number of rooms, including our temporary Tech Block that have had more minor mould contamination and these have been remediated and confirmed to be safe. Ongoing testing is being carried out to ensure they continue to be safe. This is allowing us to bring on other teaching spaces. However, C Block and our M and E Blocks (Music and Drama) are not able to be reused. C Block will be demolished, and M and E Block will require major refurbishment.
As I mentioned, in the interim we have set up a hub in Market Place and the “Long Room” at the Hutt Rec as temporary space for students. We have been provided with additional funding for us to place additional teachers into the hub. We have also been given the use of the Little Theatre by the Hutt City Council for our Drama and Music Students.
Medium Term Accommodation
The main focus for the Board and the school is to get the students back on campus as soon as possible. The proposal from the Ministry is to construct a block of port-a-coms as temporary classrooms until we can demolish and build a new building to replace C Block. We are assured the Port-a-coms are under construction and the first 4 will be delivered to site in August. The remaining blocks will be delivered progressively over the remainder of the year. We are not happy with the proposed timeframes and we continue to work to challenge their time frames to ensure we are getting them on site as soon as is possible. I will give you a more detail in my next Update.
The units are new, insulated and heated. However, we are being clear with the Ministry that our expectation is that these are temporary.
We have had a clear undertaking from the Ministry that C Block will be demolished and a new building built on the school campus. If there is a good news story in all this, then it is that we have the chance now to get rid of a terrible classroom block and replace it with something that is modern and more appropriate for modern teaching. We are not starting from a blank sheet. In 2016 the school developed a Master plan for the school (https://www.hvhs.school.nz/future/campus-of-the-future)for the school which included options for a replacement of C Block. This means we are well advanced in planning for a new replacement block. In the next few months we will be completing this exercise, which will include consulting with our community, including Parents, Students, teachers, Iwi, and others. This is an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often so it is important we take the time to get it right. However, it is also important that we keep the pressure on and don’t lose momentum.
As I said, I will undertake to give you regular updates on how work is progressing.
Chair of Finance and Property Committee, Board of Trustees