Government announces new school and new classrooms for Canterbury

The Government will build a new primary school and 16 new classrooms in Canterbury for 1100 extra students, as part of a long-term plan to make sure there’s enough space for the growing school-aged population.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins visited Lemonwood Grove School in Christchurch, where he released a Growth Plan for the Canterbury region. The plan forecasts that about 6000 additional student places are needed by 2030.

“The previous National Government failed to take a strategic approach to cater for growth nationwide. They had a draft growth plan only for Auckland, but failed to recognise that a number of regions around the country are also seeing their school rolls increase rapidly,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Since the earthquakes, more families are choosing to move to towns like Rolleston. The Canterbury region is a unique area because there’s significant growth in school-aged kids in the outskirts of the central city.

“That is why we’ve bought land for a brand new primary school in Rolleston, we’re significantly expanding Lemonwood Grove School for 350 extra students and building 16 classrooms at six schools. 

“This is just the start. As the projects progress we will be making further school property investments in Canterbury.

The Canterbury region Growth Plan is part of the National Education Growth Plan unveiled earlier this month.

“We don’t want to see kids crammed in school libraries and hallways – this puts a strain on the teachers and the students. When parents are sending their kids to their local schools, we want them to be confident that they’re learning in warm, dry and comfortable spaces.

“For years, families, schools and the construction industry have been in limbo about any future investments in schools in their area, and schools have been struggling to keep up with growing school rolls.

“Our plan catches up, and brings the building of new schools and classrooms in line with future growth. It also gives the construction industry certainty about what projects are in the pipeline.

“While there is no specific Growth Plan for the West Coast and Tasman regions at this stage, we are also building 9 extra classrooms in the those areas,” Chris Hipkins said.

Of the $1.2 billion of funding for school property in the Wellbeing Budget, the investments announced today represent about $24 million of that funding. This includes:

Canterbury:

  • Allenton School - 1 teaching space
  • Wharenui School - 1 teaching space
  • Gilberthorpe School - 3 teaching spaces
  • South New Brighton School - 3 teaching spaces
  • Hornby Primary School - 4 teaching spaces
  • Marshland School - 4 teaching spaces
  • Lemonwood Grove School - Expansion providing 350 additional student spaces
  • Acquisition of a new site for a future primary school in Rolleston – 400 student spaces

Nelson/West Coast:

  • Franz Josef Glacier School - 1 teaching space
  • Waimea Intermediate - 3 teaching spaces
  • Stoke School - 2 teaching spaces
  • Murchison Area School - 3 teaching spaces

This follows the $200 million announcement for Auckland and Tai Tokerau in early July.

Further announcements about investment in school property, including the release of Growth Plans for other regions, will be made in the coming weeks.

Link for editors:  

  • Information about the National Education Growth Plan, including the Canterbury Growth Plan can be found here.