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Getting schools open again

Our Building and Asset Services (BAS) team, alongside local contractors, put in long days as they worked to reopen local schools to ensure minimal term one interruptions. 

BAS Regional Director Don Matthews said reopening schools after a disaster is always a priority because it is pivotal to the recovery of the whole of community.

"When kids go back to school, parents are able to go back to work which then helps restart the local economy," Don said. 

“After the floods, humidity levels and extremely high temperatures, which led to the constant spread of mould, were some of our greatest challenges.”

“Townsville suffered a series of rolling floods over several days. We accessed some schools briefly and then had to withdraw teams as waters were rising again. We also had to deal with power outages and sewage spills.”

Don said BAS uses local contractors for government work wherever possible.

“We reached out sensitively to local contractors, mindful that they may have been impacted personally, to contact us for work when they were able,” he said.

The BAS team supported the Department of Education by facilitating early but safe access to schools for teachers who needed time to prepare for classes. 

Tracey Kenway, Acting Principal at Wulguru State School said “it was brilliant to get the all clear and to announce to the community that we were open and ready for the kids to come back. 

“The kids were so excited, the parents were possibly more excited. We are back…largely due to BAS.”

Thanks to the effort of the BAS team, 59 of the 60 affected schools progressively got back up and running over nine days after the flood, with the heavily damaged Oonoonba State School reopening on 5 April.​​​​​​

Last updated 09 April 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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