One of the oldest school buildings at St. Mary’s Primary School has been spruced up, thanks to a $30,000 renovation job officially blessed yesterday.
Principal Sister Masela Tenisio and the President of the P.T.A, Laki MaChee, said they wanted to maintain the building as it has great historical value to the school.
“We wanted to maintain this building because it is a historical place for us,” said Mr. MaChee.
“The work has taken about four to five weeks. The budget for the materials was about $25,000 and then for construction was about $13,000 but we came slightly over budget.
“It is a heritage block so that is why the sisters wanted to refurbish it and retain it for as long as we can.”
Mr. MaChee said the school has a long-term plan for the block but for now, Year 1 and 2 students will be using it.
“The long term plan is that this might ultimately become the Library, the Reading and English Room and other uses that sister might have in mind.”
The President of the P.T.A said the renovation work was complicated.
“The brief was that we wanted to maintain the character and the historical value of the building,” he said. “Therefore whilst we were installing different features we decided to keep the original concept of the building and we kept the doors and things like that and even the desks.”
Sister Masela said maintaining part of the school’s history is very important.
“This building or block is very important because it has been here since the sisters arrived in Samoa in 1864. We still want to retain and maintain this building as part of our history,” she said.
“Plus we want to continue using this for the educating of the children of Samoa and that is the main purpose.”
She acknowledges the help from people who supported the work.
“I want to thank the President of P.T.A and particular our contractor and the workers for the work well done because if it wasn’t for him and the workers this wouldn’t be like this so I want to thank all of them,” she said.
“I want to thank our parents for their generosity and for their time given to the work here and also we’d like to thank the sponsors like S.M.I, A.C.P, B.S.L and also M.&J. Ah Fook and especially CeCe’s Bingo and the whole community of St. Mary’s for their support.”