Remarkables Primary School board of trustees chairwoman
Fiona Woodham (left) and principal Debbie Dickson stand in
front of the $17.3 million school in Frankton which was
originally designed with an extra sixth "learning pod" of
four classrooms, in addition to the 20 classrooms within
five pods which were finished just over two and a-half
years ago. Photo by James Beech.
Relocatable classrooms for up to 112 extra pupils are
unlikely to tide over Remarkables Primary School until the
Ministry of Education opens a new Wakatipu primary school "in
about two years' time".
The school is transporting a pair of relocatable blocks of
two classrooms on to the school site from Queenstown Primary
School and Wakatipu High School.
The Ministry of Education is to confirm a project manager for
the site development.
Enrolments have continued to balloon at Remarkables Primary,
with 462 pupils on the books as of yesterday, two more than
the school's original capacity.
A roll of 481 pupils was expected by the end of 2012, based
on pre-enrolments the school knew of.
Its multipurpose room will become a dedicated classroom next
term and the school is advertising nationally for more
teachers to start next year.
Ministry property advisers said the school needed to
accommodate a further 60 pupils before the planned new
Wakatipu primary school opened "in about two years' time".
The ministry bought land in Frankton in 1958 for what became
the site of Remarkables Primary School.
It began opening the school in stages from February 2010.
The school board of trustees predicts there will be 520 to
530 pupils by mid-2014"We have our figures and we believe
growth will continue, even beyond the introduction of any
primary school," board chairwoman Fiona Woodham, of Frankton,
"We still haven't seen firm evidence that [a new Wakatipu
primary] is going to open on any firm date, so we do have
concerns that even if these four classrooms do see us through
that two-year period, we believe we are still going to be
sitting on a very high number beyond that."
Trustees met school property adviser Brian Tegg from the
Dunedin office of the Ministry of Education again this week
after they met him last week to discuss school property
developments, Mrs Woodham said.
"We are pleased to confirm that we will be having four
relocatable classrooms coming on site.
"It is envisaged that a two-classroom block will be ready for
the beginning of the 2013 school year with work commencing
next term and the other two classroom block to be completed
during term one."
The relocatable classrooms were to be soundproofed to comply
with the requirements of the Queenstown Lakes District
Council because of the proximity of Queenstown Airport.
The number of pupils who could be taught in each classroom
depended on their ages and corresponding ministry
recommendations on the ratio of children to one teacher, but
could be up to 27 or 28 per classroom.
Mrs Woodham said the positioning of the blocks was being
However, the draft proposal was for one block to be placed at
the end of Ahuwhenua Pod and the other block near the early
learning centre on the slope near the school field side.
"It is hoped that the development of this block will also be
co-ordinated with the school field development," Mrs Woodham