Two options for new Wanaka primary school

Nikki Kaye.
Nikki Kaye.
Wanaka residents are being given the chance to voice their opinions on the two options for the town's new primary school.

The choices have been presented to the community by the Ministry of Education.

One option is to establish a new school on a new site and the second is to build a new campus of the Wanaka Primary School on a new site.

In May, Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced about $16 million would be spent on the new primary school to ease the rapidly expanding school rolls in the town.

Whichever option is chosen, stage one of the new facility is expected to be completed by 2019.

Independent education consultant Cleave Hay facilitated a public meeting on the options for the school in Wanaka last night and a second meeting is scheduled for next Thursday.

An online survey on the options for the school has also been launched by the ministry.

Mr Hay could not be contacted before the meeting yesterday.

A website has been set up outlining how each option could work.

A new stand-alone school would operate as most other schools in New Zealand did and an establishment board would be able to develop a vision for the school and appoint its own principal and staff.

The alternative option, also known as a split school, would mean the school would be split over two sites but operate as one school. The sites would be staffed and resourced together.

Wanaka Primary School's principal and staff would manage both sites, governed by the board of trustees.

Both sites would also be resourced as if they were one school with one roll.

The ministry listed the possible advantages and disadvantages of the split-school proposal.

Advantages would be a sense of one community and a combined and cohesive strategic direction at the two sites.

The disadvantages were that staffing and operational funding would likely be reduced compared to the two-school proposal.

There could also be challenges operating two school sites which could be physically far apart.

A survey carried out in 2015 by the ministry found there was a desire in the Upper Clutha for any new school to reinforce the strong sense of community in the area.

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