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UHC Fire - We will NOT be returning to UHC site on Thursday 19 September. Further information available on Updates

Fire at Upper Hutt College, Update

Fire at Upper Hutt College

Please refer to the UHC FIRE tab on the front page of the website for more recent and detailed information on progress.

The revised practice exam and internal assessment schedule now shows under the Fegusson and Trentham School "subpages" as well as separately under Curriculum.  Please note that the first posting of this included a large number of clashes between the externally assessed MAT101 and BIO101 on Tuesday morning 17th. BIO101 has now been moved to the afternoon of Monday 16th. Apologies.

* * * * * UPDATE 5 - WEDNEDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 7.30am * * * * *

You may be having issues using the UHC App as referred to in the earlier Update.

Snapp Mobile have notified that they have recently migrated over to the SchoolAppsNZ App and are advising users to ensure they are using the correct app. It won’t appear in the App store.

The link to download the correct version of the UHC app is


* * * * * UPDATE 4 - TUESDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 10pm * * * * *

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work to get our school up and running again.

Over the last two days, we have had a large number of specialist services onsite, assessing the damage from Sunday night’s fire and determining what is needed to move forward. We have been working with the Fire Service and the Police on the cause of the fire, and with the Ministry of Education and insurance assessors on what we need to get teaching spaces set up in the school for the affected subjects and what we have to do to get the school open and ready for teaching and learning.

The college is closed for two main reasons. As a result of the fire, the school has no power and therefore no lighting, heating, or fire alarm service. The fire also resulted in the exposure of asbestos fibres in the immediate surrounding area and fire debris, and the experts must determine how they will remove the damaged building and manage the asbestos risk. It is therefore not safe to have the students at school.

The lack of power has affected our ability to communicate directly with parents and caregivers via email, so we are forced to use social media and the website. You will have been unable to contact the school (or individual teachers) by phone or email. Limited restoration of power tomorrow will see us able to return to email updates, but I encourage parents and caregivers to download the Upper Hutt College School App from Google Play or Apple Store, as we would like to use that to push out notifications.

Classrooms T1-3 have been badly damaged by the fire and will be demolished. The Foods and Textiles classrooms have smoke and water damage and are unusable. These specialist teaching spaces have been temporarily relocated in different areas around the school and we are purchasing the equipment and resources needed to continue teaching and learning when students return.

We are very mindful that students will be worried about not being at school and missing work they need to be doing. Students who have access to Google Classroom are asked to check this for work and instructions from teachers. Senior students who have practice exams have some extra revision time now and can email their teachers directly if they need help with revision or any other aspect of their learning.

Finally, the cause of the fire is suspected arson. We are working with the Police to identify the culprits. If you have any information, please contact the Police or the school.

Again, I would like to thank you for your patience and support as we work with the Ministry in getting our students back to school. Their safety and wellbeing are paramount, and we are working hard behind the scenes to minimise the impact on their learning.

Judith Taylor


* * * * * UPDATE 3 - TUESDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 6.30pm * * * * *

Upper Hutt College will remain closed tomorrow, Wednesday 4 September and Thursday 5 September. Further information will follow.


* * * * * UPDATE 2 - MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER, 8.30pm * * * * *

Another update, this time for parents and caregivers and their soon-to-be Year 9 students who were scheduled to meet with senior staff for their enrolment interviews tomorrow (Tuesday 3 September).

Unfortunately, it is possible that we will NOT have power restored to the school in time for these interviews, so the difficult decision has been made to cancel the interviews. We will be in touch to reschedule when we have power (and therefore phones!).

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but we look forward to meeting you soon, and welcoming you to our school.


Judith Taylor



* * * * *  UPDATE 1 - MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER, 7pm   * * * * * 

Firstly, thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and messages of support. The fire has destroyed 3 classrooms and damaged 2 others in the Technology Block. We have been onsite since 7am working with authorities and different agencies, assessing the impact this will have on our school and students and making plans to get things up and running.

 We do not yet have full services restored to all areas of the school, and we need to ensure that the spaces around the damaged classrooms are safe for our students and staff.

 Therefore, the college will be CLOSED, TOMORROW – TUESDAY 3 SEPTEMBER.

 I will update you about reopening the school as information comes to hand.

 Thanks again for your support and understanding.


Judith Taylor



We have had a serious fire at the college, late Sunday evening, 1st September 2019. The fire was contained to one wing of the Technology Block and has caused extensive damage to part of the block T1-T4. The fire was attended by a large contingent of emergency services and brought under control. Emergency personnel will remain onsite overnight.


We will be working hard on Monday to ensure the area affected is secure, the school is safe for students to return, and that teaching and learning is affected as little as possible. I’m aware that students may be concerned about their work and the impact of the fire on their studies for NCEA – this will be a priority for us to manage.


Fortunately, Monday 2 September is a Mid-term break, with no students at school. At this point we have not been able to assess the damage or impact but will confirm later on Monday if school will be open or not on Tuesday 3 September.


Thank you in advance for your support. All updates will be on the school website and Facebook page.


Judith Taylor


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