Parents fight for school
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.’’
Parent Tracy Marshall with her daughter Alexandra Marshall, 5, and Pauline Pertab.