1 Mar 2012

Ruatoki community celebrates new school block

7:09 pm on 1 March 2012

The Ruatoki Valley in central Bay of Plenty is celebrating the rebuild of a school block that was ravaged by fire in 2009.

Te Wharekura o Ruatoki has had extensive renovations over the last 18 months with members of the community pitching in to help.

On Thursday during a dawn ritual kaumatua, board members, staff, pupils and members of the community attended a blessing ceremony to open a new gymnasium and a community hall called Mauri Tau.

Principal Yvonne Hohepa says the opening of the buildings was a big day not just for the kura but the whole community.

She says it's been an emotional day filled with joy after overcoming the sadness when the buildings were burnt down three years ago.

Ms Hohepa says Mauri Tau, the community hall, is a facility for everyone in the rohe to use which everybody in Ruatoki has contributed to.

She says the hall is aptly named because it means to be settled and provides a safe haven for kaumatua and people to come and relax or hold hui.

The original hall was burnt down and the kura has retained the name.