Pupils moving into new $21.5m school

Principal Dr Wendy Bamford and board of trustees chairman Pete Bullen in the grounds of the new ...
Principal Dr Wendy Bamford and board of trustees chairman Pete Bullen in the grounds of the new $21.5 million Wanaka Primary School, which opens today. Photo by Matthew Haggart.
Wanaka Primary School pupils return for the start of the fourth term today to a new $21.5 million school.

Staff and supporters were due to take part in a formal blessing for the new school before the start of classes today, with a ceremony to be conducted at dawn.

Weather permitting, Wanaka Primary School's 430 pupils, along with teachers and parents, will gather in the school grounds at 1.30pm for their first assembly.

School principal Dr Wendy Bamford said everyone was "super excited" about moving in for their first day at the school.

"Teachers, children, everyone can't wait. It's just so nice to be here," she said.

The school relocated across Wanaka from its former Tenby St site to the new premises during the two-week holiday break, with classrooms set up and teaching materials all in place by yesterday.

The new school is the culmination of more than seven years' planning and is a step towards future-proofing education for a burgeoning Wanaka populace.

Wanaka Primary School board of trustees chairman Pete Bullen said the opening of the new facility was a "once in a generational" occurrence.

"This will be here for the next 50 years plus. It has been a privilege to be involved ... Things like this don't come along very often."

The completed school, its buildings, classrooms, grounds and facilities were a "quality product through and through", he said.

"The whole board is really proud to have this school as a legacy of its involvement for the whole community," he said.

An official opening for the school is planned for next year, and it is hoped Prime Minister John Key will be involved along with Education Minister Anne Tolley.

- matthew.haggart@odt.co.nz


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