More than two years after fire destroyed some of its classrooms, Wagga Public School has begun the process of rebuilding.
In the early hours of January 5, 2019 fire ripped through six classrooms at the back of the historic school.
At the time it was reported to have caused a $1 million in damage.
The NSW Department of Education has lodged a development application with Wagga City Council to replace what was lost, with an estimated cost of $2.9 million.
President of the school's P&C Andrew Holmes told The Daily Advertiser that had the fire not destroyed the buildings the school would still be in need of some modern classrooms.
"They were some of the school's older buildings," Mr Holmes said.
"[They needed updating] but this was not the way anyone wanted to do that."
According to the environmental effects report lodged as part of the DA, the reconstruction will include "a two-storey building within the southern portion of the existing Wagga Public School site, which would replace previously existing classrooms".
The new build will also include two offices, amenities and a lift.
Over the past year, students at the school have been using department-delivered demountables in place of the lost classrooms.
Mr Holmes said that within a few months of the fire, the department had removed all remaining debris at the back of the school and replaced it with a newly-landscaped grass area.
"It was the first time the kids had had some grass in that area, so they were over the moon with that," Mr Holmes said.
The school's out-of-hours care program has also been moved to the neighbouring Commercial Club to further accommodate the rebuild process.
"The club has been fantastic in allowing us to move there," Mr Holmes said.
"That will also allow the department to close off the back half of the school to get the construction done when it needs to."
Now that the development application has been lodged, Mr Holmes is hopeful the construction will be able to begin soon.
"We're hoping construction can start at the end of the first term," he said.
"It'd be nice to have it all done by the end of the year."
According to the NSW Department of Education, the build is expected to be completed by early 2022.
Although excitement is building as the plans turn into action, Mr Holmes said the construction will never be able to fully reconstruct everything that was lost.
"It was during the holidays so the students didn't lose their work, but teachers lost a lot," he said.
"They lost things they had worked their careers to develop, which was very ordinary for them."
In the days after the initial fire in 2019, the school and its community were inundated from far and wide with offers of assistance.
"We had people getting in contact from [as far as] Perth offering to help send us supplies," Mr Holmes said.
"This is a small community, but in a sense it's also a very big community."