Old Bonalbo school beats the red tape
By JENNIE DELL
THE 30 children at Old Bonalbo Primary School spent yesterday afternoon in the sparkling cool water of the Bonalbo swimming pool.
Lucky for them that intensive learn-to-swim classes are being held at the pool every afternoon from now until the end of term.
Their school has no airconditioning, and with the thermometer showing 42 degrees yesterday the heat inside the school was said to be 'intense'.
By the start of the 2005 school year the two classrooms at Old Bonalbo will have air-conditioning, thanks to a big community effort to raise the $8000 funds themselves.
This will leave the principal's office, administra- tion, and media room without cool air, until another $10,000 can be raised from a village of 500 people.
The school council has been lobbying the Department of Education for funds to air-condition the modest school buildings, while the school's parents and citizens group started fundraising two years ago.
P and C president Stan Allen said yesterday the Department of Education would not consider allocating funds for air-conditioning unless the average January temperature was 30 degrees or over.
Since there is no Bureau of Meteorology weather station at Old Bonalbo, temperature readings were made at Casino and Tenterfield and an average was taken, which gave Old Bonalbo a reading of 29.5.
"We feel disadvantaged by that," Mr Allen said.
"Both those towns are climatically quite different from Old Bonalbo."