Year 9 pupils at Queenstown's only secondary school will
be the first to benefit when its replacement school of twice
the capacity opens at Frankton in January 2018.
Wakatipu High School trustees and principal Steve Hall
yesterday welcomed the certainty given by Minister of
Education Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Nikki
Kay the new school at Remarkables Park would happen.
Building and maintaining the new Wakatipu High School and
three other schools around New Zealand would be delivered by
a public-private partnership (PPP), the ministers announced.
An invitation for expressions of interest will be issued for
the design, construction, financing and maintenance of all
''If the expression of interest is successful and the PPP
goes ahead, the Ministry of Education estimates the cost of
construction and maintenance for the project will be more
than $200 million,'' Ms Parata said.
''The ministry advises that the use of a PPP for this bundle
of four schools could deliver savings of 2% to 8% over
traditional procurement by the ministry.''
Mr Hall said the announcement meant pupils, parents, staff
and trustees knew they would be using the present site on
Fryer St for the next four years.
The announcement also meant the school community could start
looking forward to a new modern learning environment, he
''It's only our current year nines who are going to go into
the new school. This is nearly a generation of students away,
so it means for the students here now we're going to keep
working hard and doing the things we've been doing hard out
for the last year or so to deliver a great all-round
education and keep getting better and better at that.''
About 750 pupils study and 81 staff work at the existing high
school, which opened in 1980. Classrooms have been added to
keep up with growing roll.
The replacement school for about 1500 Wakatipu pupils will be
built on 8ha of land the ministry bought from Remarkables
Park Ltd in 2012.
Queenstown Airport's noise boundary clips the northwest
corner of the site, which is earmarked for a playing field,
away from classrooms.
Mr Hall said the new school site was going to be sunny,
''which will be fantastic''.
''There are many benefits and one is it will be a modern
learning environment, with technology a big part of it.
Education is changing and schools built in this day and age
look and work differently to schools that were built some
time ago, like this one.''
Mr Hall said a property manager from the ministry would begin
working with school staff this week to explain and discuss
the process for the relocation.
''We need to learn and give input into that, which I
understand we will, so it's very exciting.''
The new high school will cover a major part of the
''Education Facilities Precinct'' being developed at
The Invercargill-based Southern Institute of Technology last
week opened its new $3.4 million student accommodation block.
The villa-style facility for up to 54 Queenstown students is
next door to the Zig Zag Zoo early learning centre, which
opened last year.