Southport High opens its doors after ‘herculean’ repair efforts

Update, October 8 | Southport State High School is welcoming students back for term four this morning, after a mammoth weekend of repairs.

A fire completely destroyed the large B Block building on Friday, with the damage so severe that officials weren’t sure if they’d be able to reopen today.

Though thanks to the herculean efforts from more than 100 people over the long weekend, students and staff are walking through the gates this morning.


Works had to be carried out to both demolish the damaged building, as well as install around 20 demountable classrooms.

Principal Nigel Hughes posted to the school’s Facebook page late yesterday, once again praising all those who helped out.

“I know that I have heralded the amazing efforts of the more than 100 workers that have helped us out over the weekend a number of times but I need to do that one more time.

“The Department of Education has coordinated this effort with Fleetwood, their building supplier, and QBuild their response team.

“This collective effort with so many, many people on site is inspiring to say the least. And I thank them again on behalf of our broader school community,” the post reads.

Earlier, October 7 | Southport State High School has announced it will be back open to staff and students for the first day of term four tomorrow.

“I am delighted to advise that we are on track to come back to school for the start of Term 4 on Tuesday 8 October 2019,” Principal Nigel Hughes wrote in the most recent Facebook update.

“Today’s progress on site by this amazing team of tradespeople has meant that we will be able to return to school as planned.

“While there is still much to do over the course of the next 38 hours or so, and numerous trades will continue to work across the remainder of the weekend, we look forward to having our school handed back to us so that we can get on with the business of teaching and learning,” Hughes said.

The reopening was in doubt after a large fire destroyed much of the school on Friday.

Over the long weekend, a ‘herculean’ effort from trades saw the demolition of damaged structures, as well as the installation of around 20 demountable classrooms, so that classes could resume as normal.

There is still a lot of work to go, according to school officials, though there is enough in place for students and staff to return.

“Our school is so very grateful for all the support we have received and I continue to be astonished by just how much can be achieved – and in our case has been achieved – when good people come together with a common goal, unfailing commitment and tremendous good will to make amazing things happen,” the latest Facebook update reads.

School Principle Nigel Hughes has thanked everyone involved in the major rebuild repeatedly over the weekend.

“The support of our local community means a great deal to me and I sincerely appreciate the strength and good will of the Southport State High community at this time.

“Our school motto “Respice Finern” (to look to the end result) has come to mean a great deal more to me during this recovery effort.

“Every one of the now nearly 100 people who have been on site over the weekend have had nothing but the ‘end result’ as their focus – and that has been to get us back up and running as quickly as possible. This recovery effort is a great practical example of what our school stands for,” Hughes said in a Facebook post yesterday afternoon.

Related article: Demolition works continue at Southport High in wake of ferocious fire