MERLEWOOD Primary School governing body members and the principal heard on Wednesday that the rebuilding of the school will start soon.The announcement was made at a meeting held by the Department of Education, the Coega Development Corporation and the contractor.The decision to rebuild the school has been a long time in coming because the DoE struggled to secure funds for the project. Jaya Pillay from the Department of Education chaired a meeting where stakeholders gave their views about the rebuilding of the school now that the contract had been approved. The project will initially cost R38 million, however, an additional budget had been approved. Pillay said this day reminds him of the first meeting he had with the Merlewood community and the SGB who asked the DoE to do something about the school as the prefab classrooms were in a state of decay. “I thank principal Audrey Ryan for her persistence and I commend her for her patience.” Ryan said they had waited for 19 years for this day.“I would also like to assure the contractor that he [and his team] will be safe and we will pray for them every day.” Sphindile Ngcongo of Coega, project manager for the rebuild, said she is glad the day had finally arrived.“I would like to assure the community of Merlewood that we have competent people working on the project.“As the project manager I will be here as often as possible to make sure that all goes according to plan.” Hibiscus Coast mayor Nomusa Mqwebu asked the contractor if some of the workers would they be locals because as a municipal leader she has to answer to this and it is important that the project brings employment opportunities for locals.ANC activist, Selvan Chetty, seconded the mayor and said it has been everyone’s collective effort that the rebuild is in the final stage. The project is scheduled to take 18 month to complete.