Ministry to hold on to school site

The Carisbrook Heights campus. Photo: ODT.
The Carisbrook Heights campus. Photo: ODT.
The Ministry of Education is to "continue to hold" the Carisbrook Heights School site, following its closure as a branch of Carisbrook Main School at the end of this year.

The site is that of  the former Calton Hill School  in Riselaw Rd, and the branch school was formed as a result of a merger between Caversham, College Street and Calton Hill Schools in 2011.The closure was announced earlier this month, after it was found the Carisbrook Heights roll at the start of next year would be only 29 pupils — down from the 63 when the schools merged.

The school’s board of trustees believed the remaining pupils at Carisbrook Heights would be provided with improved access to a wider peer network, learning resources, pastoral and teaching support, and facilities to continue to lift their educational experience, wellbeing and achievement at the main school site.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary Jerome Sheppard said the ministry would initially "continue to hold" the former Calton Hill School site for "education purposes".

"Once Carisbrook has vacated the site, we will consider which, if any, educational purposes those might be.

"If it is not required for education, it would be disposed of using the process set out under the Public Works Act. This means offering the property to other government agencies, previous owners or iwi (if required by a Treaty of Waitangi settlement) before it can be sold on the open market."

The disposal process begins with the transfer of the property to another government department, or territorial local authority, if required for another public work.

It is then offered back to the previous owner (or their beneficial successors).If the property forms part of a deed of settlement, the iwi concerned has first right of refusal. If they do not exercise that right, the property is placed on the open market.If the property is not subject to a deed of settlement, it is assessed for any other related Treaty  claims under the Maori protection mechanism or the sites of significance process.

If any claim is successful, the property can be land-banked and bought by the Office of Treaty Settlements for Treaty claims.

If the property is not land-banked, it goes on the open market.

Depending on disposal complexities, Ministry of Education properties can take between 16 and 38 months to sell.

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