NERVES soon made way for excitement and adventure as students from Telegraph Point Public School were welcomed for day one of learning at their temporary new home at Hastings Secondary College's Westport campus.
The campus pulled off an extraordinary feat to re-purpose a section of the high school into six primary classrooms for the students who were left displaced after their beloved school building was destroyed in last week's floods.
School principal Duncan Adams and teachers joined the students on the bus trip to Port Macquarie on Monday morning.
The mood was more buoyant than one week ago when the region was pummelled by record-breaking flood rain.
On Friday, March 19 just after 11am, the emergency evacuation plan was triggered at the 145-year-old Telegraph Point School. Within hours, the buildings were inundated, everything inside destroyed.
Four days later, children's paintings, books, desks and chairs sat in a pile in the courtyard as cleaning crews sifted through what was left.
Mr Adams said the impact on the tiny community has been heart-breaking, but from it there are opportunities for new partnerships to begin.
"We will come back bigger and better. Some wonderful opportunities like this have presented themselves in these difficult times," Mr Adams said.
Remediation at Telegraph Point Public School will include setting up to six demountable classrooms, a demountable administration building, removing linings of all permanent buildings and then starting the rebuild process.
"We managed to build a school within a school (at Westport campus) in just under five days. The support from our local community, businesses and partner schools has just been humbling," Mr Adams said.
Ken Little's Fruit and Vege is providing 'fruito' for the students each day while Officeworks donated every classroom new stationery and more than $2500 in books were purchased for the kids by 2020 NSW Young Australian of the Year Corey Tutt.
"We've seen people who have lost everything helping people who have lost everything. It has just been incredible," Mr Adams said.
The students will have their own entrance and play area at the campus and each day can say g'day to the animals in the agriculture plot before classes start.
Westport campus principal Ian Ross said it was important for the community to know Telegraph Point is not isolated.
"We are one community here. We are very proud and humbled we are able to accommodate them," Mr Ross said.
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