2 May 2021

Students to return to mould-stricken Hutt Valley school

5:52 pm on 2 May 2021

Senior Hutt Valley High School students will tomorrow return from their holidays to a new normal and new challenges, after the closure of 13 classrooms because of toxic mould.

Hutt Valley High School

Photo: Google Maps

The school closed 13 classrooms, three bathrooms and a dance room in mid-April, in addition to its C Block where the mould had first been found.

The worst rooms will be sealed off and demolished.

Some of the senior students will be taught some lessons in buildings owned by the Hutt City Council, from this week.

The school's acting principal Denise Johnson told RNZ that during term two, year 12 and 13 students will still need to work from home for half of the week.

The school was expecting 16 portable classrooms to be moved on site to provide more spaces, but they are not expected to be ready until the third term, which starts on 26 July.

"Our kids will be fine, we'll look after them," she said.

"And hopefully into term 3 we will all be back on site in a new little portacom 16 classroom village ... albeit temporarily. So, we're hoping that happens as quickly as possible."

Johnson said a lot of mould had been found in two science labs, a drama room, dance room, the main gym, and the student centre.

Lower Hutt mayor Campbell Barry said the school would be able to use a local theatre and space at the Hutt Recreation Ground for the rest of the school year.

"What's happened with the school is in no fault, of course, from the students and staff.

"And we want to be able to make sure that we're supporting them through this, and that the students are able to have a space to continue to learn - for some of them, in their last year of studies."

Barry said the council was also exploring making another space available, which is owned by the Ministry of Education.

The school had more than 1700 pupils enrolled last year.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs