Boy, 12, faces court over St Pius X High School fire

A boy, 12, has faced court today after being charged over the fire that caused $500,000 worth of damage at St Pius X High School.

The boy was charged with maliciously destroying property by fire, malicious damage and other related charges.

He pleaded not guilty to lighting the fire and was granted strict conditional bail in Broadmeadow Children's Court.

The court heard that he was one of three 12-year-olds who broke into the school, smashing windows before the fire was lit.

The charged boy has told investigators that one of the other boys was responsible for lighting the fire, the court heard.

The boy has been placed on a night curfew and ordered not to associate with the two other boys it was alleged were with him at the time of the fire.

The fire occurred about 4.30pm on Saturday at the Park Avenue campus of the school in Adamstown.

Principal Robert Emery said yesterday the Sister Marie Hall, or the old St Anne’s Library, and a ministry co-ordinator’s office within the hall, was destroyed.

Photos of graduating classes dating back to the 1980s, music equipment, archival records and kitchen items were lost.

Mr Emery said the fire was contained to the isolated hall and did not spread to any of the school’s new buildings in the factory wing.

Mr Emery said the site was expected to be cleaned up and fenced off before the end of the school holidays.

It was likely to take about six months to plan for a proposed new building.

Mr Emery said the hall had been used for gatherings such as year meetings.

Fortunately, new buildings in the factory wing were scheduled to open in week two of term three, he said.

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