Ipswich High School principal Simon Riley surveys the damage caused by the flood.
Ipswich High School principal Simon Riley surveys the damage caused by the flood. Andrew Korner

School to start on schedule

MORE than 1000 Ipswich State High School students will return to class next week following a mammoth flood clean-up and rebuilding operation.

Though not as devastated as the Brassall State School across the road, Ipswich High’s manual arts building, swimming pool, janitor’s shed and sports ovals were all badly damaged by the rising Mihi Creek.

Principal Simon Riley said flooding of the manual arts building was a particularly big blow for students, as about 40 per cent of them were involved in building and construction-related classes.

The manual arts block was about a metre under water and had to be completely gutted.

Q-Build tradesmen moved in on Monday to start the rebuilding process, which could carry on for several weeks.

“We’ve lost all the tools, benches, vices, machinery; the power transformer for the school was also on that block so we’ve lost power,” Mr Riley said.

“All of our stock – our cement, the cement mixer – everything we’d stockpiled to use for the students’ live work, it all had to go.

“We’ve lost our tractor, ride-on mowers, push mowers and tools.

“We still have no power and no telecommunications.”

The pool was about half-a-metre below the flood level and remains a murky brown mess.

The school is awaiting expert advice in the safest way to go about cleaning it.

Soil tests have been conducted on the sports oval to ensure it is safe for kids to play on again, while tonnes of debris have been cleared from gardens at the school.

After the damaged buildings were cleaned out, the school was left with a pile of rubbish stretching through most of the car park.

“It has been a huge job and we’re lucky to have had RAAF Amberley people here to do a lot of the heavy lifting,” Mr Riley said.

“We’ve had volunteers from all over the shop – people with connections from a long way back – and my heads of department were outstanding.”

Years 8 and 11 will start on Monday, with the rest of the grades to resume class on Tuesday.



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