Biloela recovers after huge fire ruins school
AFTER a deliberately lit fire destroyed seven classrooms at Biloela State High School, the local community has rallied around the school.
The fire, which resulted in an entire building being destroyed, took out two science labs, the school gymnasium, three classrooms and staff offices, was lit by two 15-year-old local boys.
Biloela State High School principal John Adie said the community effort and spirit that had been shown in the wake of the fire was incredible.
"The community just absolutely rallied around the school. It's the same thing we saw with the cyclone a year ago, a strong community spirit,” Mr Edie told The Morning Bulletin.
"The whole community has learnt more about being a strong community. Biloela has shown it has got that in spades and we are very appreciative of all the community help”.
In the weeks following the fire much of central Queensland has donated time, money or supplies to help the school get back on its feet.
"One weekend after the fire we had some Year 12 students organise a bake sale for the teachers which raised $2000, students from Thangool Primary School raised $250,” he said.
"A whole stack of businesses have supported us; Biloela Rugby League donated some money, we had $10,000 donated from Anglo American to help us rebuild, Moura State High School students gave us $250 that they were going to use to purchase something for their school...It's just been quite incredible.”
Staples Australia also contacted the school to offer a donation of cleaning supplies, but as the building had previously had asbestos the clean-up was out of the hand of Mr Adie, who instead suggested they present the "unsung heroes” with a thank-you gift.
"I suggested to them that our team of five cleaners and my business services manager are the unsung heroes and said they should instead supply something for our cleaners and this week they were all given a backpack full of goods and supplies” he said.
The fire came just months after the school lost two students within a few months, with Mr Adie saying the year had been very tough on everyone.
"It's been a tough year, but what has come out of it is an incredible amount of resilience,” he said.