History of St Patrick's Catholic Primary School
St Patrick's Catholic School, Taupo, opened on January 28 1997 with a roll of 66 pupils. The official opening, with Bishop Denis Browne unveiling the plaque and blessing the school, along with other celebrations, took place on St Patricks Day, 16 March 1997. The Board of Trustees and the Catholic Integrated Schools office worked hard, along with the staff, to have the school ready for the start of the new school year.
Two classroom blocks and an administration building came on the back of a truck all the way from Tihoi School back in 1996. The school started to grow rapidly in the first year and it was obvious that a new classroom would be needed, sooner than later. Room 4 arrived on the hill in Term 4 of 1997. It was a purpose built classroom from Keith Hay Homes.
For the first 3½ years the school facilities were very sparse. The school office was attached to the Parish Hall and the Principal's office, sick bay and staff room were housed in the administration building supplied from Tihoi School - originally built for a staff of 4 teachers. So you can imagine, things were tight. But at last, in July 2008 we had a purpose built lovely sunny new Administration Block and now we have room to stretch out our legs!
In 1997, with the hard work of the school PTFA (Parents, Teachers and Friends Association) who raised a lot of money from their first Gala, and other fundraising efforts, the new playground was built. The Lakeland Lions and Taupo Lions Clubs came along and supplied us with bark and manpower. In 2009 the playground was extended to enable students of all ages to play on and enjoy. With the amazing hard work of the PTFA fundraising and the generous donations from the Southern Trust, the Taupo Cosmopolitan Club and the Lion Foundation, the dream of extending the playground came true. The kids make full use of this playground every day, and they love it!
Once again, the need had to be filled for another classroom to accommodate the growing roll. Room 5 came along in Term 1, 1999 and was placed on the hill next to Room 4. At the beginning of 2000 two more classrooms were trucked in and positioned behind the caretakers/sports shed.
The school is situated on approx. 2.1 hectares of land, approximately 1.5km from the township of Taupo. It has amazing panoramic views of the National Park Mountains. The playground includes playing fields, adventure playgrounds and an asphalt area for netball and tennis. The school presently has 12 classrooms, library and administration block which includes resource room, staff room, sick bay, and the Principal and Secretary's office.
Over the years we have developed the school grounds by creating a bush walk. Each student did a mosaic tiles which lines the pathway through this area. Even the staff created tiles to go into the large cross seen in the picture above.
We are now lucky enough to have our very own hockey turf which has been invaluable for the school, as well as being able to share it with our Taupo community.
Bishop Denis Browne opening the school in 1997
Our Junior block consist of classrooms from Tihoi School
In 1997 our first Gala raised enough funds to build the school playground
In 2008 our new Admin block was built