Classrooms to ease pressure
Libraries, corridors and reading resource rooms have been converted into classrooms at Cromwell Primary School. That is set to change.
Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe was in Cromwell on Wednesday to announce as part of Budget 2017, $5 million will be invested in new classrooms for Cromwell Primary, Goldfields Primary School in Cromwell and Shotover Primary School in Queenstown.
Cromwell Primary will receive $2m for four new classrooms, Goldfields Primary will receive $1m for two new classrooms and Shotover Primary will receive $2m for four new classrooms.
Cromwell Primary School principal Wendy Brooks said the school had been operating at 124 per cent capacity for more than a year, and the situation was urgent.
Spaces including corridors, a reading resource room and library had been converted into classrooms because of space shortages, she said.
‘‘We might be able to get our library back which has been a classroom for two years...The new learning hub just opened and that enabled us to take a class out of the corridor and new entrants now have a class- room because they were in a reading resource room.’’
The schools normally worked in a ‘‘deficit model’’ and the announcement would allow the schools to forward plan.
‘‘We have had to work so hard. A lot of our time is taken up working with property matters....We feel the Ministry of Education has listened.’’
Goldfields Primary School’s Sharon Booth said with a growing region the schools were struggling to accommodate children in learning spaces.
‘‘This (announcement) enables us to move forward and forward plan. In the past it has been backward...We had new entrants in a portacom.’’
A ‘‘modular solution’’ would be used and design and build teams from Christchurch who had experience in the earthquake rebuild would be contracted to undertake the work.
Macindoe said the investment was part of a $456.5m investment in education infrastructure and associated operating costs as part of this year’s budget.
‘‘The funding shows our continuing commitment to providing infrastructure to schools in high growth areas.’’