IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PARENTS & CAREGIVERS Thursday 24 November 2016 4.42pm

Dear Parents & Caregivers

As you will be aware, the building at 61 Molesworth St suffered significant damage in last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Visual inspection by specialist engineers, including the NZ Fire Services USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) engineers, established the building was at risk of collapse in another earthquake or large aftershock. As a result, the building has to be deconstructed urgently.

This afternoon, St Mary’s College staff met with representatives from the Wellington City Council, Worksafe, Regional Public Health and CERES, a specialist demolition company. St Mary’s Board Chair, Kathy Sharpe, and a representative from the Ministry of Education were also present.

At this meeting, we were assured that the imminent demolition of the damaged building would be handled with the utmost care, within the strict protocols required to ensure the safety of the workers on site and personnel within the immediate vicinity.

The Council and the building’s owner have identified that there is some asbestos in the building. Wellington City Council and CERES know exactly where the asbestos is located in the building. They have a management plan for the appropriate and safe disposal of the building materials, including the asbestos. The level of asbestos dust will be constantly monitored and, if necessary, deconstruction work will be stopped immediately. All material from the building will be appropriately moved in covered trucks and disposed of at the Southern Landfill.

The risk of contamination from asbestos in this situation has been assessed as being LOW.

Work on the deconstruction is set to begin within the next 24 hours.

I appreciate and fully understand your concerns for your daughters. Having received the above information, in consultation with Board Chair, Kathy Sharpe, and the Ministry of Education, it has been decided that as the risk is low, school will continue as normal.

You can keep up to date with the deconstruction at:

Wellington City Council website

Wellington City Council Facebook

Contact centre phone (04) 499 444

Contact centre email

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. The College will keep you updated as any new information comes to light.

Yours sincerely

Catherine Ryan