High school and houses fast-tracked
Plans to increase capacity at Queenstown’s new high school will be fast tracked to cope with projected growth, CluthaSouthland MP Todd Barclay has announced.
Government funding would increase the new multi-million dollar Wakatipu High School capacity from 1200 to 1800 students, he said last week.
‘‘We know how fast our population is growing and there’s a real need to accommodate more students in our schools and get ahead of growth trends.
‘‘I have made a point of communicating this to the minister a number of times, so I am pleased that those conversations have paid off,’’ he said.
The new school at Remarkables Park will feature a fully-equipped theatre, a dance area, a recording studio and aerobics room and is scheduled to open for the 2018 school year.
Wakatipu High School principal Steve Hall said the fasttracking was great news and was much needed for the school.
‘‘We’ve done so much work on this because we were concerned that we were going to move into a brand new school and be full very quickly.
‘‘That has happened before here in Wakatipu and it’s fantastic that they’ve listened and done something about this,’’ Hall said.
Barclay said he was also working closely with Housing Minister Nick Smith to speed up a worker accommodation project at the school’s current location on Gorge Rd.
The government-owned land would have to go through a ’’long process’’ before becoming available to the public. It could take many years, he said.
‘‘What we are trying to do is expedite that process and under the law you can’t do it until the school has relocated to the new site.’’
Barclay said they were working on whether a law change was needed or if they could do it under current law.
‘‘It hasn’t been done before so it would be the first time they have done it,’’ Barclay said.
If the fast-tracking goes ahead, construction on the current site would start as soon as Wakatipu High School moves to the Remarkables.
Barclay said the Gorge Rd area was suitable for worker accommodation.
‘‘It’s easy, it’s close to town, right outside the supermarket and public transport - ideal workers accommodation,’’ he said.
Wakatipu High School Principal Steve Hall with Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay.