22 Jun 2009

Rebuilt school in tsunami hit Solomons province wins architectural recognition

3:23 pm on 22 June 2009

A school that's a prototype for more than 80 others being rebuilt in the tsunami-hit provinces of Solomon Islands has proved it can foot it with the big boys of world architecture.

Ngari School on the island of Gizo in Western Province has just received a citation in the World Architecture Community Awards.

It was designed by the voluntary organisation Emergency Architects Australia for the Ministry of Education to be a model for schools that need to be replaced or repaired after the earthquake and tsunami of April 2007.

Emergency Architects Solomon Islands Project Director, David Kaunitz, says the people in the area are very proud of the school they helped to build last year.

"Tremendous community help, often 30 volunteers every day, building the building and carrying timber to the site. The building was built in eleven weeks, which is quite an incredible amount of time for it to be built anywhere, let alone a place where every piece of timber has to be hand cut, hand hammered and holes drilled by hand - the works."

David Kaunitz says the school is designed to better withstand earthquakes and other disasters.