Bathgate Park School's roll has broken the 200-pupil
mark for the first time in nearly a decade, and the school
may soon start to feel the pinch as classroom space becomes
Ironically, the Ministry of Education removed five classrooms
from the school during a merger at the start of last year.
Bathgate Park School principal Whetu Cormick said the school
now had 208 pupils, plus five pupils with special learning
needs from the Sara Cohen Unit.
The school, formerly known as Macandrew Intermediate, neared
400 pupils in 2001.
But in 2006, it recorded a March roll return of 190 and the
roll dropped to as low as 96 in 2011, just before it merged
with Forbury School.
Since then, the roll has been creeping upward again.
''We had 117 at the beginning of 2012, when the school opened
last year, and our modest estimation is that we'll have 240
pupils by the end of next year. Our capacity is 255.
''I think their decision to take classrooms away lacked a bit
of foresight because we're going to need more classrooms
Mr Cormick said the school needed only another 50 pupils
the ministry would have to consider building new classrooms
or establishing an enrolment scheme.
Mr Cormick was delighted with the school's growth.
''Our staff and board of trustees have worked hard to
transition the 90 new students we've enrolled this year.
''We've done a little bit of marketing, but we haven't been
going out there and blowing our bugle at all.
''We're fostering a positive reputation in the community and
parents are bringing their kids here. It's word of mouth -
that's what we're finding works the best.''