School asks for art room rebuild now

NEW Gisborne Primary School is circulating a petition calling on the state government to rebuild its art room after it was destroyed by fire three years ago.

School council president Chris Corbell said the art room had been replaced with a portable unit as a "temporary measure" but was not sufficient to meet the needs of the growing school cohort. 

He said the school community's patience was wearing thin and it was time to see some action. 

"The school council has written to the state government on many occasions seeking confirmation and a time frame for when works will commence," he said.

"However despite these numerous efforts no funding has been committed to the replacement of the art room - apparently it is not a priority.

"The provision of a permanent art room is within our building entitlement schedule as per the Education Department guidelines.

"With increasing enrolments and the potential for a surge in 2015 due to recent subdivisions, the school will require suitable infrastructure to accommodate the students."

Mr Corbell said the parents association had to raise money to place a lean-to across the kiln to shelter it from the elements and said it was "not ideal".

"Three years later it is not good enough that there is no priority to get a permanently-built classroom," he said.

"The school community has been very patient but it is time to send the department a very clear message that this art room is a priority."

A Department of Education and Early Childhood Development spokesperson said the department responded promptly following the fire to install a larger relocatable art space than the previous building.

"The relocatable classroom is specially-designed for art teaching and learning," the spokesperson said. 

"The department will work with the school to explore shelter options for the recently purchased kiln.

"The government must responsibly balance and prioritise the needs of more than 1500 government schools."

Mr Corbell said about 250 people had signed the petition supporting the need to rebuild the room. 

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