An artist's impression of the $2.4 million, six-classroom
block to be built at Arrowtown School. Image supplied.
Construction will begin within the next few weeks on
Arrowtown School's new $2.4 million classroom block, now that
extra funding has been approved by Associate Minister of
Education Nikki Kaye.
The six-classroom, double-storey extension will cater for the
growing school roll and the funding announced by Ms Kaye
yesterday meant building could start soon, acting school
board chairman Chris Clark said.
''We had a board meeting a couple of weeks ago and basically
the funding figure that was originally approved for us [$1.25
million], it was obvious when tenders came in for the
building there wasn't going to be sufficient funding, so we
went back to the Ministry of Education,' he said.
The new amount approved by Ms Kaye meant work could start
soon and was ''great news for the school and school
community,'' he said.
''It's the first double-storey block at the school and it'll
be the centrepiece and a fantastic environment for the
children to learn in.''
The existing school building was opened in 1996 and there had
been rapid growth in the school roll, particularly in the
past 18 years.
''We'll be pushing [a roll of ] 500 by the end of this year
and we expect to pretty much fill up all the new classrooms
by the end of next year.
''The buildings should be ready to use by the start of the
first term next year, Mr Clark said. Ms Kaye said the
Queenstown Lakes district had experienced a population
increase of more than 22.9% since the 2006 census and local
schools had experienced steady growth during the past decade.
The new Arrowtown classrooms were part of an expansion of
school facilities to accommodate that growth, along with
three new teaching spaces recently added to Remarkables
Primary School and construction beginning on a new school
near Queenstown, which would open for the 2015 school year,
Planning was also under way for Wakatipu High School to be
relocated by 2018, to cater for expansion.