26 Dec 2010

High school gymnasium destroyed

3:15 pm on 26 December 2010

A high school gymnasium in Wellington has been almost burnt to the ground.

The fire service was called to Rongotai College in Kilbirnie just after 1.15am on Sunday. A crew is still there dampening hotspots.

The heat of the fire was such that the steel framed roof collapsed inwards.

Only some equipment in the weights room remains.

The wooden gym was built in 1968. It housed a full basketball court, weights room, changing rooms and staff offices.

Principal Kevin Carter says it was used by pupils every period of the school day and was going to be refurbished next year.

Police and the fire service are both investigating the blaze.

Rongatai College has produced a number of sports stars including All Black Ma'a Nonu and Black Caps spinner Jeetan Patel.