Otago and Southland are the latest regions to benefit from funding for school property, with the Government announcing $37 million will be invested.
The investment includes around $25 million for Wakatipu High School to be relocated and rebuilt for a role of 1200 places, which will increase the current capacity of the school by 140 places, from 1060 to 1200 places.
Up to $11 million has been allocated to redevelop Arrowtown Primary School in Central Otago to provide modern learning environments and increase capacity of the school from 520 to 560. This is on top of the investment that took the capacity of the school from 420 to 520 places since 2012.
Moreover, $350,000 will be allocated for one new classroom at Donovan Primary School in Invercargill, in addition to funding already approved for two new classrooms, and $700,000 for two new classrooms at Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka. Pembroke School in Oamaru will receive $350,000 funding for one new classroom.
“This is a significant investment in schools in Queenstown, as well as the Otago and Southland regions,” says Minister of Education Hekia Parata.
“The redevelopment of Arrowtown Primary School will add further capacity to meet higher than expected roll growth, and will also address weathertightness issues that the school is experiencing,” she explains.
“Seven extra teaching spaces will be built, on top of six new spaces already provided in 2015. In addition to this, four existing blocks will be replaced with a brand new multi-purpose facility comprising eight teaching spaces and an administration centre,” Parata says.
“This is an exciting project for the school and local community, which will be carried out in stages over the next three years to minimise disruption. The design phase will kick off later this year, and I expect construction to begin in 2017.”
Associate Minister of Education Nikki Kaye says that Budget 2016 provides around $25 million for the relocation and rebuild of Wakatipu High School.
“The Government is committed to ensuring that schools in high growth areas have enough space to enable students to learn effectively,” says Kaye.
“Wakatipu High School will be delivered as part of the second Public Private Partnership for schools.
“The school is currently on track for a projected roll of at least 1200. However I can confirm the Ministry has advised me that the masterplan for the school could accommodate a roll of up to 1800,” she explains.
“Over the next 12 months the Ministry will finalise what the build roll will be through the delivery of the public private partnership (PPP).”
Kaye says the new investment is in addition to over $50 million invested in the area over the last six years for three new schools, including Wanaka Primary School, Remarkables Primary School and Shotover Primary School.
“Including the additional spaces provided through previous investment and projects green-lighted so far this year, we will deliver around an additional 2000 student places in the Wakatipu Basin between 2010 and 2019,” says Kaye.
“The overall student population in 2010 was around 14,000, and to put this in perspective, the Government has invested to increase the network capacity by 17% from 2010 to 2019,” she says.
“The additional classrooms and redevelopment announced today will further boost the quality and capacity of schools in the lower South Island, and ensure students have the best possible education opportunities in innovative and inspiring learning environments,” Kaye adds.