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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.
“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.