Shirley Intermediate buildings farewelled

The entire school, staff and pupils lined up for a group shot to mark the last day for the...
The entire school, staff and pupils lined up for a group shot to mark the last day for the Shirley Intermediate School’s main building. Photo: Geoff Sloan
For almost nine decades, more than 13,000 children have passed through the doors of Shirley Intermediate School. Now the original school building is being demolished.

Shirley Intermediate was the oldest school of its type in the city and has graced the intersection of Shirley Rd and North Pde since 1934.

The main building with its iconic entrance way facing North Pde will now make way for modern learning spaces including a technology hub.

Early in the 1930s, the lupin-covered sandhills of the area alongside the banks of the Dudley Creek were levelled and converted into the site for a new intermediate grade school which opened in February 1934. 

To commemorate the historic occasion of its last day in 2021, principal Geoff Si’ave arranged a photo shoot to mirror one taken in 1936.

A total of 152 pupils and 20 staff stood outside the school’s front entrance off North Pde, at the end of the school term, two weeks ago, capturing this historic moment.

In 1936 the school lined up for a similar photo. Photo: Supplied  								                       ...
In 1936 the school lined up for a similar photo. Photo: Supplied
Si’ave said that while the building had been an iconic landmark in Shirley for 87 years, its replacement is a fitting continuation of the story of specialist intermediate education in the greater Shirley area.

“Our children will have the advantages of acoustics, temperature and ambience technology, and learning areas with the space that allow large and smaller sized groups to operate simultaneously without compromising the needs of  teachers,” he said.

Year 8 pupil Aidan Wanhalla-Smith, 12, said he was disappointed he won’t get a chance to experience the new school next year, but was pleased for the children joining the school in the future. 

Deputy principal, Brett Cooper, said that the commencement of the project is something the whole community can be happy about.     

The western end of the new building will be home for the schools Maori language unit – Te Tahu Rua Reo – while the development project will include the removal of surplus buildings, and major modernisation of all remaining rooms.  

Si’ave said the school has current capacity to run classes throughout the rebuild.  

The project, part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme, is due for completion mid 2023.

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter