Celebrating progress of Christchurch's "second-to-none" school network



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Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye will visit three Christchurch schools today to celebrate the completion of new classrooms and facilities, which are part of redevelopment projects valued at around $20 million.

Earlier this morning, the minister visited the site of the new Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school, where she turned the soil to mark the start of construction of the school’s new $30 million inner-city facilities. Today Kaye will be visiting Cashmere Primary School, Halswell Residential College and Avonhead Primary School.

At Cashmere Primary School, she will plant a tree to mark the completion of a new, $3 million two-storey block containing nine teaching spaces.

“This is the first stage of a multi-phased $8 million project, which will also see all the school’s other facilities refurbished this year," say Kaye, "The school has worked with Ngai Tahu to develop names for their buildings, reflecting their cultural narrative based around the kereru, Te Pae Kereru."

At Halswell Residential College, she will return the Mauri to the ground to mark the opening of $9 million worth of new facilities, including family-style villas and a multi-purpose learning environment. The college is expected to provide learning for students with disabilities and behavioural issues, with a focus on learning life skills that help develop dignity, a sense of worthiness and independence.

At Avonhead Primary School, the minister will cut a ribbon to mark the opening of a new classroom block comprising four teaching spaces, as well as three other redeveloped blocks which together create an innovative learning environment at the school. This was a $5.3 million project.

“Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony will celebrate the school’s history as well as its future, with the ribbon held by the school’s newest entrant and an ex-pupil who attended the school on its first day back in 1959," she says.

All of the schools the Minister is visiting today are part of the $1.137 billion Christchurch School Rebuild programme, which aims to rebuild or renew 115 schools by 2022. To date, 11 schools have been completed, 25 are under construction and 25 will see construction start this year.

"Some of the work has been logistically challenging but we’re on time and within budget, which is great news for local families and communities," she says. "Christchurch will have a second-to-none school network as a result of this massive, ten-year programme."

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