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An archaeological assessment of the former High St School site was being undertaken yesterday, before construction starts on the High St co-housing project.
Co-housing project spokeswoman Anne Thomson said all going well, construction would start within the next six weeks.
``The final stages are coming together of teeing up the fiance and finalising the contract with the builders,'' Ms Thomson said.
The project was now fully subscribed, she said.
Run by Urban Cohousing Otepoti Ltd, it will provide more than 60 residents with shared spaces and 22 units.
Peter Petchey, of Southern Archaeology, was unsure what would be found beneath the topsoil, but there could be some items of interest.
``The school was built in the 1880s and before then there was a cottage, so there is the potential some historic items have been left in the ground.''
The old school's foundations had already been uncovered by the digger.
``The topsoil was only put here in the 1980s so we expected the foundations would be found pretty easily,'' Mr Petchey said.