20 Dec 2015

Dozens of schools need top priority property work

8:13 pm on 20 December 2015

Fire alarms, dangerous trees, and hot water in bathrooms were the among the top priority building jobs facing schools as they prepared for the holidays.

Students away from a classroom, which is filled with empty school desks.

Photo: 123RF

The Ministry of Education said, at the start of December, 42 schools had work classed as priority one, meaning it needed to be done to prevent breaches of health and safety regulations.

Electrical repairs and upgrades were the most common priority one job, followed by repairs and changes to fire alarms.

Several schools had trees that needed trimming and sewerage, drains or water pipes to replace or fix.

Some of what appeared to be more major work included a seismic upgrade to the senior common room at Epsom Girls' Grammar School, replacing the roof of a building at Kaiwaka School in Northland and rewiring "potentially hazardous" cabling at Marlborough Girls' College.

In addition, Tikipunga Primary School in Whangarei needed to remove cladding that might contain asbestos.

Ministry of Education infrastructure service head Kim Shannon said priority one items did not pose a current threat but could do so if they were not dealt with.

She said schools usually preferred to take care of such jobs themselves.