Classes move for mo­tor­way

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

PUPILS at Mt Roskill’s Christ the King pri­mary have ring-side seats for construction of their brand new school.

Over the next 18 months the 130-pupil school will be en­tirely de­mol­ished and re­built less than 50 me­tres away.

The school is mov­ing to avoid noise dis­rup­tion from the ex­ten­sion of State High­way 20, which will pass close by.

“It’s a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to move into a custom-made en­vi­ron­ment,” says prin­ci­pal Jane Hahn.

“But it’s also a bit poignant be­cause there’s a lot of his­tory here.”

The Richardson Rd school will shift to a road­front site where Christ the King Church now stands.

The pres­bytery and parish houses have al­ready been re­moved, and a new church is be­ing built a short dis­tance away.

Church and school will still be linked by a drive­way run­ning be­hind res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.

Mrs Hahn says the move will mean a higher pro­file for the Catholic school, first es­tab­lished by the Sis­ters of St Joseph.

“We’ve been tucked away be­hind the church for 50 years, so it’ll be a big change,” she says.

The new school is de­signed to in­su­late pupils from traf­fic noise, with a u-shaped class­room block shield­ing play­ing ar­eas from the road.

Ex­ist­ing fields and paved play­ground ar­eas will re­main in place.

New build­ings will go up in stages, with the new school com­pleted be­fore the old class­rooms are de­mol­ished.

“Our fo­cus is on teach­ing and learn­ing and chil­dren achiev­ing, and that will not be com­pro­mised in any way,” Mrs Hahn says.

“If any­thing, it pro­vides some great learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the chil­dren.”

New Zealand Trans­port Agency, for­merly Tran­sit, will spend about $15 mil­lion re­lo­cat­ing both church and school.

Cap­i­tal projects gen­eral man­ager Sumi Er­atne says the shift was re­quired to meet noise level con­trols.

“We’ve got strin­gent re­quire­ments to cope with when we run mo­tor­ways close to schools, so that’s the main rea­son.”

He says mov­ing the school even a short dis­tance away will bring noise lev­els within ac­cept­able lev­els.

“It’s far enough to meet the guide­lines we’re work­ing with.”

A small amount of school land was also re­quired for the mo­tor­way.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Big changes: Christ the King School prin­ci­pal Jane Hahn with pupils Ashley Pererira, 7, left, and Mikel Ceniza, 8.

New vi­sion: Main en­trance de­sign for the new Christ the King School.

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