On May 1, 1918 a letter was sent by Mr S. W. Mitchell to the Auckland Education Board with an application for a new school on Rangiuru Road, Te Puke. The letter stated that Mr Mitchell was willing to “surrender his interest in two acres of land on his block and have this vested in the board”. After a lengthy process approval was finally given on January 27, 1919 and Miss Vida C. Billing was instructed to commence teaching on February 17, 1919.
Meanwhile an enthusiastic group of settlers from the surrounding area had already constructed a building on the site – a one room school measuring 26 ft by 16 ft at the cost of £200.
The school opened with a roll of 16 students. Over the following years this number fluctuated but the school remained a sole charge school. In 1956 further land was purchased from Mr J. Waterman and Mr R. J. Hewison for a playing field and a teacher’s residence. The school house was completed in September 1957 along with the sinking of a bore to supply the school with adequate water. By this time the roll had almost doubled and a prefab classroom was added to the school grounds. Seven years later a new single classroom was built to replace it. Work finished on the classroom on March 1, 1965 and it was eagerly occupied by the school’s 29 students. By this stage the original school building was sub-standard and a request was made to the Education Board for a second classroom. The Board refused, saying ‘it could not be justified by any figures available that there would be any future roll increases’.
Despite the Board’s gloomy forecast, over the ensuing years Rangiuru saw much roll growth and change. By the school’s 75th Jubilee in 1994 the school had added a multi-purpose room, a toilet block, a hard-court play area, a playground and a swimming pool.
The late 90’s and early 2000’s saw a huge increase in students attending Rangiuru School. With the roll approaching 100, 3 new classrooms were added, the old classroom was moved from its original site and made into a technology suite/library and a new administration/staffroom block was constructed in its place.
Today Rangiuru is proud of its country heritage and traditions. While modern buildings and up-to-date technology aid in delivering a sound education, it still relies on strong community support and enthusiasm like that of those first settlers who brought it into being.