Preferred bidder

Future Schools Partners has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a public-private partnership (PPP) by the Ministry of Education for the new Wakatipu High School.

Ministry of Education infrastructure service head Kim Shannon said it had entered into final contractual negotiations with Future Schools Partners and, if successful, the consortium will design, finance and construct four schools in New Zealand, and maintain them for 25 years.

The ministry would own the land and buildings and all educational services would be the responsibility of the school principal and board of trustees.

Wakatipu High School is to be rebuilt on land near Remarkables Park, and is expected to open at the start of 2018.

Other schools were Ormiston Junior College in Auckland and Aranui Community Campus and Rolleston Secondary School, both in Christchurch.

Ms Shannon said PPPs offered an ''excellent alternative'' to what had traditionally been done because the contractors also thought about how the buildings would be maintained.

''Having a professional facilities manager also removes the maintenance from school leaders so they can focus on student achievement,'' she said.

The Future Schools Partners consortium involves companies with a background in designing, building and maintaining New Zealand schools, including Hawkins Group, ASC Architects and Programmed.

The Public Infrastructure Partners Fund, ANZ and Westpac are financing the project.

Future Schools Partners was one of two consortiums short-listed to develop proposals in response to a request for proposal released by the ministry in July 2014.

The proposals were reviewed by the Ministry of Education, Treasury officials and specialist advisers.

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