Mid-Canterbury schools to get 99 new and upgraded classrooms

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins have announced a major redevelopment of Ashburton College and Ellesmere College.

“The Government is investing just under $80 million across the two schools to give them enough new space for roll growth and deliver warm, dry and modern classrooms,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The wellbeing of students and staff is important to their teaching and learning.

“This investment in Mid-Canterbury schools delivers on our promise to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. 

 “Ashburton College is the largest secondary school in Mid-Canterbury with a current roll of around 1150 students, but it’s been left to fall into a poor condition and now requires a significant upgrade,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“We will be spending around $50 million at Ashburton College replacing all teaching spaces and increasing non-teaching space to accommodate future roll growth,” Chris Hipkins said.

 “Our investment will provide 64 new classrooms, retain the current gym and add extra non-teaching space. The redevelopment will provide space for 1,350 students and the site will be prepared for a roll of 1,600 to accommodate forecast future growth.

 “Ashburton is one of the fastest growing areas in Mid-Canterbury so it’s important we invest now to provide quality learning environments for generations to come.”

 Just up State Highway 1, at Leeston, the Government is also investing nearly $30 million in Ellesmere College.

 The school buildings were built in the 1970s and 1980s and there has been no significant upgrade since then. All but two of the school’s buildings are temporary relocatable classrooms and have experienced significant wear and tear. That’s not good enough and we are fixing it.

“This investment will see 35 new classrooms being provided, and the refurbishment of the existing gym and music suite. 

“Ashburton and Ellesmere Colleges are just two of a number of major investments this Government is making at schools across the country this year.

“The Coalition Government is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to support our young people’s education and wellbeing by building the best facilities there are,” Chris Hipkins said.