Par­ents fight for school

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - TOM CARNEGIE

Par­ents are band­ing to­gether to save a preschool at the site of a well-known Auck­land race­course.

The Port­land House Montes­sori Preschool has been based at the Eller­slie Race­course for nearly 20 years but is now fac­ing clo­sure in just a mat­ter of weeks.

The site was des­ig­nated as a Spe­cial Hous­ing Area in 2014 and the school has been told it has to move out in Novem­ber when the Auck­land Rac­ing Club’s lease ex­pires.

Port­land House owner Pauline Pertab says a break­down in com- mu­ni­ca­tion with the land­lord and the cur­rent hous­ing mar­ket has left them in a dire sit­u­a­tion.

Par­ents and teach­ers have since joined to­gether to cam­paign against the school’s clo­sure.

Par­ent Tracy Marshall says the school is a real as­set to the community.

‘‘Ideally we would like the cen­tre to stay but we un­der­stand there are plans for the area.’’

‘‘So even if the land­lord would just give us some more time to find a new place that would be great.’’

Ti­mothy Ed­ney, site owner and de­vel­oper, de­nies there have been mixed mes­sages and says it has al­ways been ab­so­lutely clear the lease was com­ing to an end.

Pertab says she has been look­ing for al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tions but says there has been a lot of red tape.

The par­ents have started a Face­book page called @save­port­land­house where par­ents and past stu­dents have been shar­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences at the school.

‘‘Ideally we would like the cen­tre to stay.’’

TOM CARNEGIE

Par­ent Tracy Marshall with her daugh­ter Alexan­dra Marshall, 5, and Pauline Pertab.

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