Donated timber helps Bellingen Primary School make music

Music lessons at Bellingen Primary School are now cooler and more energy efficient, thanks to a new pergola built using timber donated by Forestry Corporation of NSW, Boral Timber and Thora Sawmill.

The new pergola provides a shaded, open-air expansion to the school’s music room and is driving down air conditioning costs.

Bellingen Public School’s Principal, Dylan Harry said he was delighted with the timber pergola, both for its aesthetic appeal and functionality.

“The structure provides a walkway to the music room and beyond to the school’s vegetable patch. Its main function will be to cool the music room by providing shade to the northern windows. Passionfruit vines are intended to ramble over the pergola as an extension to the edible patch,” Mr Ross said.

Elizabeth Scott, music teacher and project manager said the room is notably cooler and the need for air conditioning has been lessened already.

“The builder Pascal Fortin has created an artwork with his fine workmanship and the timbers have been cleverly placed to provide musical staff lines that students can decorate with notes and music symbols in the future.

“We are very fortunate to be the recipients of such beautiful timber and wish to formally thank Forestry Corporation, Boral and Thora Mill for their generous contribution to our school.”

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Strategic Projects and Programs Leader Justin Black said the pergola was the first new facility completed under the Community Timber Partnerships, which was formed by Forestry Corporation of NSW, Boral Timber and Planet Ark to salvage around 1,000 cubic metres of flooring and decking products impacted by the Murwillumbah floods in 2017.

“We’re excited to have played a part in creating an asset that students and teachers at Bellingen Public School will use and enjoy for many years to come,” Mr Black said.

“As well as the flooring and decking timber supplied by Boral, the school also needed posts to complete their pergola so we approached the local Thora Sawmill who were all too happy to supply them to get this new facility off the ground.

“As well as reducing energy costs for the school by making the music room naturally cooler, the timber itself is actually helping tackle climate change by storing carbon in the wood for the life of the structure. Timber is the only major building material that is renewable and stores carbon.

“Our forest management practices ensure that trees are continually replanted and regrown, continuing the cycle of regeneration of this ultimate renewable resource, and as anyone who has timber floors, decks or fencing can attest, you feel better when timber is around you.

“When we heard about such a large volume of timber being written off, in some cases for damage as minor as water staining in some instances, we were determined to salvage it for local community projects.

“We’re looking forward to working with our partners to give this timber a new lease of life and create renewable, durable and beautiful timber facilities for many more local communities to enjoy.”

The Community Timber Partnerships Project is endorsed by Planet Ark, under their Make it Wood program.

Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428 058 549