$4m boost for Lawrence Area


Lawrence Area School is to re­ceive $4 mil­lion fund­ing for class­room up­grades, the Govern­ment an­nounced on Tues­day.

The fund­ing was part of $11 mil­lion to be shared be­tween Lawrence and Man­iototo area schools, with Man­iototo re­ceiv­ing $7 mil­lion, As­so­ciate Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Tim Macin­doe said.

‘‘Both of th­ese schools have build­ings which are gen­er­ally in poor con­di­tion and af­fected by is­sues such as weather-tight­ness.’’

Ex­ist­ing class­rooms at Lawrence Area School, a decile six school, will be re­paired and mod­ernised.

The ma­jor­ity of teach­ing spa­ces of the decile eight school in Ran­furly will be re­placed.

Both of the schools teach stu­dents from year 1 to year 13.

Lawrence Area School had 138 stu­dents in 2016, and Man­iototo Area School 175.

Lawrence Area School prin­ci­pal John Auld said the school had been work­ing with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion on a re­view of the site for nearly two years.

Dur­ing that process, it was dis­cov­ered that three of the school’s more mod­ern build­ings, dat­ing from the 1980s on­wards, had leaky build­ing syn­drome.

‘‘In ad­di­tion, some of our older build­ings are in need of sub­stan­tial re­fur­bish­ment af­ter 60 years of ser­vice, and need to be brought into the 21st cen­tury.’’

Auld said the school had been seek­ing ‘‘quite a com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tion’’ to its in­fra­struc­ture is­sues, so $4m was ‘‘very wel­come’’.

‘‘We’ve en­joyed a good, trans­par­ent process with the Min­istry, and our stu­dents, staff and com­mu­nity will all be glad to see some fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for our build­ings, pro­vid­ing bet­ter teach­ing and learn­ing ar­eas for our school.’’

Macin­doe said ac­cess to high qual­ity learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments would help achieve good out­comes for the wider Lawrence and Ran­furly com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘This $11m in­vest­ment comes on top of $37m an­nounced for new class­rooms and school re­de­vel­op­ments in the OtagoSouth­land re­gion last year.’’

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and the schools would work closely to­gether over the next two years to de­velop plans for the new fa­cil­i­ties.

Con­struc­tion work on the sites is ex­pected to start mid-2019.

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