College expanding in multiple ways

Mount Aspiring College is gearing up for several years of development that will significantly...
Mount Aspiring College is gearing up for several years of development that will significantly expand and help manage the ever-growing school roll. Principal Wayne Bosley shows off the development plans. Photo: Sean Nugent
This year is set to be a big one for Mount Aspiring College.

The school welcomed back a record 1095 pupils this week — including its largest ever intake of 193 year 7s — and plans to begin its multimillion-dollar expansion this winter.

Principal Wayne Bosley confirmed stage one of the five-stage project would begin in June or July, after years of planning.

"We’ve been talking and planning this for a long time and it’ll be great when it begins in June or July".

Christchurch-based Athfield Architects was tasked with the development plan, which will result in several changes to the school, including an extension to the gymnasium, the construction of a new administration block, and two double-storey blocks to house the junior school, the arts and technology.

The entire development is likely to take at least three years, and will have enough space to accommodate 1600 pupils.

"It’s going to be a continual build from start to finish because we’re going to need it," Mr Bosley said.

Stage one will bring the construction of a two-storey block on the south side of the school, which will hold dance, drama and music performance studios on the ground floor, and several classrooms on the top floor.

The school’s boiler system would also be upgraded.

Mr Bosley said the first stage would cost $9.1 million, but could not give exact costs for the rest of the build.

The school was also in discussions with the Ministry of Education about building stage two concurrently with stage one.

Stage two is another two-storey block next to stage one, that will contain technology and art space, a library, and more classrooms.

Both stage one and two will replace existing classrooms and library that have been a part of the school since it opened in 1987.

Temporary classrooms would be used while the new facilities were constructed, Mr Bosley said.

The Ministry of Education was still in negotiations with the Queenstown Lakes District Council over buying the neighbouring site which used to house the town’s old swimming pool, decommissioned last year.

If negotiations were successful, that land would be used to extend the school’s car park and house the outdoor pursuits programme.

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