There’s a digger on site of the new primary school at Three Parks but don’t get too excited, Ian Hall, chair of the Establishment Board of Trustees, reports that this is the developer’s digger who is just tidying the ground up after the removal of the power pylon now that all services have been put underground.
But it is a sign of things to come as Hall expects the school to be completed by Christmas. The contractor, Southbase Construction from Christchurch, recently completed two schools in the same time frame.
“Southbase have track record of delivering schools on time and those schools were ready for occupancy by Christmas,” says Hall. “We are confident that the time frame is achievable.”
No drawings of the future school are available yet but everything should be revealed on March 14.
“We are planning to have a community event on late afternoon of March 14 when we will be introducing Jodie Howard as principal and sharing plans that have been submitted for the buildings and the landscaped grounds,” says Hall. “We will also be announcing the name of the school.”
Hall is remaining tight-lipped about the future name but says “We have been in discussion as a Board and most importantly in consultation with Ngai Tahu.”
The Ministry of Education is currently in the process of submitting the construction plans for consent and the EBOT expect activity on site in less than two months. The school will be built in two phases: phase one which will cater for 400 students and stage two for a further 300 students, giving it a total capacity of 700 students, as compared to Wanaka Primary School which has capacity for 850.
In terms of design style, the buildings will reflect modern teaching practices; “It will not be individual classrooms,” says Hall. “There will be teachers working together but the plans allow for a lot of different styles of learning and we’ve been very detailed discussion with the Ministry about what we want so there will be significant number of internal walls.”
As the school is located so close to the Recreation Centre, there will be a very close symbiosis between the two. The school will have access to the pool and gym facilities, and the recreation centre will have use of the school fields.
“We are working together together and we’ve been delighted the rec centre is so positive about the opportunity,” says Hall.