Cold comfort for Alstonville school
By HELEN JACK
David Wright, is the sort of teacher you want for your kids.
The teacher at Alstonville Primary School, defied government bureaucracy to get air-conditioning in his classroom so he and his students could learn in comfort.
"My room sometimes reached temperatures of 40 degrees in the morning," said Mr Wright.
"So I paid more than $3000 of my own money to have my room air-conditioned in 2005. Otherwise I would not have been able to teach any more."
"I am immensely proud of Alstonville school, its performance and traditions," Mr Wright said. "I am trying to add to the welfare of our students."
Mr Wright said another attempt to install more air-conditioners had resulted in a stand-off between the school and the Department of Commerce (DOC).
Quotes to air-condition six rooms and the library from a local retailer came in at $34,775 with the P&C and school raising half of that amount.
Staff and parents Believed the quote met guidelines, but they were devastated when told by the DOC it was not acceptable.
"We were told by the DOC it would cost $64,800 according to them," Mr Wright said.
"As well, we were told that considerable upgrades were needed to the school circuit boards.
"And (the school's) quote was for better (airconditioning) units than those quoted by the Department.
"I cannot believe that an offer of $17,000 (from the school) is not being taken seriously."