East Maitland special needs school to be rebuilt 

A school for special needs students at East Maitland is to be completely rebuilt at the grounds of Metford Public School using stimulus package money.

Hunter River Community School is made up entirely of demountables and parents have been lobbying for better facilities.

Maitland MP Robyn Parker announced plans for the new school this morning outside Metford Public School.

The redevelopment is part of a state and federal government plan to use left over Building Education Revolution funds to rebuild or improve special needs schools around NSW.

The NSW Education Department is to submit a development application today to Maitland Council.

The Newcastle Herald reported May this year the school was so run down one parent sent her son to school in a raincoat because of a leaking roof.

Hunter River Community School has about 52 special needs students with severe and moderate disabilities.

The George Street school was established with demountables a decade ago and parents were promised permanent buildings.

Ten years on the school’s 11 demountables leak, smell of mould and a wooden boardwalk around them has warped, making it difficult for students with wheelchairs.

The smell overwhelms students with sensory problems and a teacher even fell through a rotting hole in the boardwalk.

A NSW Education Department spokesman said it had spent $132,000 on maintenance at the school since 2007 including new carpet in four classrooms and a new roof and floor in another.

Full story and plans in tomorrow’s Newcastle Herald.

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