Keep calm and carry on supporting the PAHS fire fund

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JON HOUZET

AFTER suffering an arson attack which caused significant damage to the school in May, Port Alfred High School is on the road to restoration thanks to a fire fund started by the school.

But with an insurance shortfall of R300 000, much is still needed to complete repairs and renovations.

The fire at the school was deliberately started by burglars using accelerant and burning the school flag. They stole computer equipment, breaking in just after a function at the school earlier that night.

The front office and foyer with old and cherished school memorabilia sustained extensive smoke damage. IT equipment was also affected.

PAHS was closed for two days following the fire as the damage was assessed and investigations started.

By Wednesday May 11 the school reopened to pupils and principal Clive Pearson and administration staff set up temporary offices. They reported IT and the telecoms system was a major challenge.

The PAHS governing body met and agreed to use the disaster as an opportunity to expand the offices. A dedicated bank account was opened and the fire fund was launched later that month. The first donations were received within hours.

The school came up with a slogan, “Keep calm and rebuild together”.

The PAHS executive committee met with an architect and the total cost of rebuilding and expansion was calculated to be R1-million. The insurance shortfall is R300 000.

When school broke up for the June/July holidays, work started on the refurbishment.

PAHS has appealed to past pupils and friends of the school to support the fire fund.

Every donation of R150 will be recognised by means of a leaf on the PAHS fire fund tree benefactors board to be displayed in the newly rebuilt and redecorated foyer.

Funds will go towards rebuilding the PAHS offices and foyer to include a past pupils’ office to be staffed by a full time fundraising and marketing team to secure PAHS’s future as a top school.

Donations can be made to Port Alfred High School, FNB account 62613858820, branch 250655. Use your name and matric year as reference.

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