This is the original school building built in 1872 and it says a lot for the Okains Bay community that this building still survives exactly as it looked when first opened. It has been lovingly restored in the early part of this century to give a glimpse of what schooling was like back in those early times.
After the new school was opened just before the war, the old school was used as a Gymnasium for a while before being altered to serve as the Eastern Bays Garage for many years. The northern end was opened up to allow mechanical work to be carried out inside the building. During this time, the building received very little maintenance and became rather run down. A school reunion in 1997 was the catalyst for community support for a proposal to see the old school restored as part of a historic precinct with the church, shop, Library and Museum.
With funding from the Lotteries Commission and hours of voluntary labour, the restored building was formally opened to the public on Waitangi Day 2009.
The old school has desks, slates and many items dating back from the earliest days of education in Okains Bay as well as some excellent display cases showing inkwells, old exercise books and other early school related items.
A booklet on the history of the school, complete with lots of photos of former pupils through the ages is available from the office.
Contact the Museum office if you would like to make use of the school facilities