Classes move for motorway
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.
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.