Richmond River High School in Lismore will move after buildings condemned due to flood damage

Cathy Adams
By Cathy Adams
Updated June 28 2022 - 10:48pm, first published June 22 2022 - 11:06pm

Only one building at Richmond River High School survived the February flood, with staff revealing it is unlikely the school will be rebuilt on the site.

Richmond River High School students will not return to the site in North Lismore as almost all of the buildings were deemed "unsalvageable". Picture: Supplied

In a letter sent out to the school community, Acting Executive Principal Chris Williams said it was "overwhelming" news for the school, with buildings that had been at the site since the 1890s.

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"Unfortunately, historical minor and major flood events at the school have caused ongoing disruption to school operations and student learning and wellbeing," Mr Williams said.

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"Based on the Department of Education's site visits and assessments, all buildings except Block A, are beyond repair and deemed unsalvageable.

"As a result of the extensive damage to the site, and the significant ongoing risk of future flooding, we foresee it is increasingly unlikely that the current site is viable for a rebuild.

Richmond River High School in North Lismore sustained major damage in the February 28 flood. Picture: Cathy Adams

"A final determination regarding the viability of the site will be made in consultation with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation who, from July 2022 begin acting on recommendations from the Independent Flood Inquiry.

We acknowledge sharing this information will be overwhelming for many of you and add to the strong sense of loss that already exists within your community."

Mr Williams said the school understood the importance of transparency and "we remain committed to providing you with clear and up to date information about the future of the school site".

"We want to reassure you, our number one priority has always been and continues to be, to rebuild the Richmond River High campus," Mr Williams said.

"The rebuild of the school from educational planning through to the design and delivery of the project will be undertaken in consultation with the school community along with other relevant agencies and stakeholders.

"Our priority as a department is to listen, understand and place the educational needs and wellbeing of students and staff including future students and staff at the forefront of our decision making.

"Any decisions regarding potential site locations for the school, should that be the final determination of the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation, will be made in consultation with the Corporation and through consultation with the community.

"It is imperative that any potential new location will support student learning and wellbeing."

A community meeting is being held at Lismore High School this afternoon to provide more information.