New lease of life for 100-year-old building
New life has been breathed into the Historic Building at Blockhouse Bay Primary School which this year is one hundred years old.
Past pupils were among the guests invited to the re-opening ceremony, including Doris Selwyn (nee Hughes) who started school in 1938, the Heron sisters Joyce Davis (1939) and Maureen* Curgenven (1941), and Yvonne* Dabb (nee Hart, 1940).
Originally built in 1909 for fifteen children as a ‘side school’ under the supervision of Avondale Primary School, the building was moved to its current site in 1957. It has been altered many times, variously housing the entire school, an administration area including the principal’s office and the staffroom, a library, an ICT suite and most recently classrooms and a small teaching space.
Restoration of the building was started last year, and many exciting things were discovered during the renovation; Original sarking, beautiful filigree decorated beams, tongue and groove flooring, blacked out windows, and two suspended ceilings were a few of the gems. A highlight was the discovery of a time capsule from 1987 sealed in a safe which had been in the floor of the principal’s office.
The Historic Building has been strengthened and restored, re-piled, re-roofed, redesigned, redecorated, and renamed Te Manawa – Library and Makerspace. Te Manawa means heart, and the hope is this building will be the heart of learning in the school - a place to imagine, connect and create whether reading, researching, tinkering, designing or making, alone or with others.
*Maureen and Yvonne appear in a class photo from 1942, in a new Beacon history feature recounting memories of the school in WWII. Click on "Articles, August 2019"