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A community space could be on the way for Hanley’s Farm if the Queenstown Lakes District Council agrees to underwrite about $1million to extend the size of the planned school’s hall.
Vanessa van Uden, a Hanley’s Farm Primary School establishment board of trustees member, said the school planned to open in February 2022.
It was being planned for 950 pupils, but initially would be constructed for 650.
There were no community facilities in Hanley’s Farm, neighbouring Jack’s Point or the nearby proposed Coneburn special housing area and Ms van Uden said the school hall construction presented an opportunity to create that.
"This isn’t about extra classrooms, or a hall big enough [for pupils], it’s about providing a space for a community — itinerant lessons, small meetings, dance classes, large functions.
"We knew this was too good an opportunity not to put our hand up."
The school was in the final stage of choosing the design and build contract, so the hall expansion needed to be committed to now. Funding would not be required till the end of 2021.
In the written submission to the council, Ms van Uden said the Ministry of Education was "happy" to include an additional 250sq m into the design, but the board of trustees had to "guarantee the funding".
"The current rate in the Queenstown area, pre-Covid-19, is approximately $3800/sq m, so it is estimated that it will cost $950,000 for the provision of additional space.
"The ministry have advised that we should plan on needing to provide $1million of funding [for contingency]."
Should the funding be forthcoming, the hall could be expanded and then be able to be divided into flexible rooms for community and school use.