New school build starting

New plans for Shotover Primary School show stage one and two, coloured red, dark purple and dark orange, plus more learning communities, coloured light orange, which are set aside for future expansion as enrolment requires. Image supplied.
New plans for Shotover Primary School show stage one and two, coloured red, dark purple and dark orange, plus more learning communities, coloured light orange, which are set aside for future expansion as enrolment requires. Image supplied.

Foundations for the first stage of the $17 million Shotover Primary School will be laid by the end of April and Otago's newest state school will open for its first pupils in term one of 2015.

New plans provided by the establishment board of trustees give the clearest picture yet of how the school for eventually 450 pupils will be laid out on 3ha at the heart of the Shotover Country residential estate and how land has been set aside for more facilities as the school needs.

The plans show a north-facing, landscaped site with play areas and courts.

Board chairwoman Sally Mingaye-Hall said ''stage 1 A'' would involve construction of the school's administration and staff block (coloured red on the plan) and its two closest ''learning communities'' (coloured dark orange).

Stage 1 A will open for about 160 pupils in years one to four. Enrolment will not overlap with the catchment of other Wakatipu schools.

Contractors start work on ''stage 1 B'', which involves the multipurpose hall (coloured dark purple), plus three extra learning communities (coloured dark orange), in the detached block.

''By the end of March 2015, they will have those other three learning communities open and operating as well,'' Ms Mingaye-Hall said.

A learning community was a group of teachers and pupils who studied together, based on the pupils' level of ability, not their chronological age, Ms Mingaye-Hall said.

''They are doing this in Auckland schools and in Australia, so we're not guinea pigs. This is a tried and true way of teaching ...''