FIRE RECOVERY: Cherbourg State School has been inundated with donations.
FIRE RECOVERY: Cherbourg State School has been inundated with donations. Tessa Mapstone

Statewide support aids school fire recovery

CHERBOURG State School has been inundated with support from the wider Queensland community after a fire tore through one of its buildings in January.

Principal Stuart Fuller said a GIVIT page - matching needs with item donations - was established to replace equipment lost in the fire.

"Using GIVIT has been very successful," Mr Fuller said.

"We weren't looking for a whole new school, but we had things like water bottles, hats and that sort of thing donated.

"A lot of books and resources also came to one of our teachers as she lost a number of her own equipment and school equipment in the fire."

Mr Fuller said donations had come from everywhere.

"Down south in Brisbane, we've still got two or three sites where we have to find somebody to pick up the donations and bring them back here.

"We got some donations from Toowoomba, some from the Sunshine Coast - people drove out from there to donate.

"It was a Facebook-type thing where people from everywhere got behind it."

Mr Fuller said the recovery at the school went well, with a new building built within weeks of the fire.

"We had kids back in the new building within a fortnight - 15 days from when the fire happened," he said.

"That was really, really good. The contractors made sure everything happened in the right time.

"It saved us worrying about what we were going to do with the kids in the few months while the building was built.

"The new building also contains a good kitchen area and people have been supplying kitchen equipment."

Mr Fuller said the fire had saddened the community

"An awful lot of people, including parents and older people in the community, had spent a year or two of their life in that building.

"It had an effect on the community. I have spoken to a few parents who were quite upset to see it go.

"The fact that it was replaced so quickly was a boost to the community."

GIVIT spokesman Ash Moore said the not-for-profit organisation enjoyed working with the school.

"It's been really great to work with the Cherbourg State School after the fire and we're thrilled to have helped source so many items," Mr Moore said.

"The teachers and staff are lovely people trying their hardest for the school's children and their local community."

The building at Cherbourg State School caught fire at about 3.50pm on January 10.

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