The West

Tragedy: Waggrakine Primary School s administration building.
Tragedy: Waggrakine Primary School's administration building.

Waggrakine Primary School principal Lis Turner described the fire that destroyed the school’s administration building on Saturday morning as a tragedy, but said today’s classes would go ahead as normal.

“It’s quite surreal,” she said. “It’s a tragedy for the school, a lot of things were lost. “But we are going to open (today) — the phoenix always rises from the ashes.”

She was quick to thank tradespeople and the school community for their overwhelming support.

Electrical contractors worked around the clock on Saturday to restore power to school buildings.

“The whole school community have been fantastic, everybody’s so supportive,” Ms Turner said.

“We’re overwhelmed by the offers of help that we’re having from members of the school community.

“But at the moment we’re still unsure what it is we need help with as we sift through what we’ve got.”

Police and fire crews were called out to the school about midnight.

Police allege the administration block had been broken into and items were removed before a fire was deliberately lit.

The damage bill is expected to run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ms Turner said the school’s library would be used as a staff room and administration centre while awaiting delivery of demountable offices.

“One end of the library is already a classroom and the rest of the library will be a reception, office and staff room,” she said.

“The Education Department in Perth has been very busy, they’ve already identified transportable offices and a staffroom which will be urgently moved up here and set up, so hopefully that will only take a couple of weeks.”

Ms Turner said that while all the archives have been lost, the main positive from the situation was that no one was hurt in the fire.

“It’s sad, but at the same time, it’s really nice to know how well the community can band together and support each other,” she said.

“Our message to parents is bring children to school, talk to your children about what’s happened at the school over the weekend, and obviously teachers will talk to students a bit more about that.

“We’d like parents to send their children in with their parents’ phone number and contact details because we’re waiting on that database from Perth.”

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