It may not be our most beautiful building, but the Arts Block is the teaching hub of the Secondary School. With 18 classrooms, it is mission control for our NCEA scholars.
Imagine the shock, then, when the entire building had to close for repair and strengthening during the 2011 academic year. Finding 18 more teaching spaces on an already compromised campus seemed virtually impossible. But continuing our secondary programme, and ensuring the success of that year's students, was absolutely vital.
For three months, Secondary School classes were held all around the campus; in the Preparatory School, in temporary 'Portacoms', and just about anywhere a teacher and a group of students could successfully get together.
The Arts Block re-opened in October 2011, and NCEA examinations were held there as usual in November. It is testament to the strength and determination of our staff and students that St Andrew's College candidates earned some of the best NCEA results in nearly a decade that year, including 25 New Zealand Scholarships.
The Arts Block problem truly taught us that we can achieve more than we realise, even in the most difficult circumstances.