Build­ing for growth

North Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - AMY BAKER

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely more col­lab­o­ra­tive’’

A new build­ing at an Up­per Har­bour school means brand-new fa­cil­i­ties for ju­nior stu­dents as well as pre­par­ing the school for fu­ture growth.

Af­ter two years in the mak­ing, Green­hithe School’s new 12-class­room build­ing is fi­nally open for teach­ers and pupils, who have quickly made them­selves at home. Con­struc­tion on the two­s­torey class­room block be­gan in Jan­uary last year and was only re­cently com­pleted.

Prin­ci­pal Peter Mar­shall said the build­ing is a mod­ern learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment while man­ag­ing to re­tain in­di­vid­ual classes.

‘‘[The stu­dents] have only been there two or three days but they love it,’’ he said. ‘‘Any­thing new is ex­cit­ing.’’

As well as the in­di­vid­ual class­rooms, there are eight break­away spa­ces which can be used for group work, a writ­ing and read­ing area, art and tech­nol­ogy, for ex­am­ple.

Ten of the class­rooms are cur­rently be­ing used, and the re­main­ing two will be used to ac­com­mo­date fu­ture growth, Mar­shall said.

How­ever, six of the class­rooms were not ‘new’ in that they were re­plac­ing older style class­rooms which will be de­mol­ished to up­grade the school’s field area at the end of the year. The school roll presently sits be­tween 500 and 600 pupils.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2017 Up­per Har­bour Lo­cal Board draft plan, the com­mu­nity is is one of the fastest grow­ing in Auck­land. Pro­jec­tions sug­gest the Up­per Har­bour pop­u­la­tion could rise to 93,400 in 2033, a 64 per cent in­crease on the 2013 Cen­sus.

A 2016/17 Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion re­port showed 40 schools in the Auck­land re­gion are cur­rently over ca­pac­ity, and 130 schools are over 85 per cent ca­pac­ity, most with con­tin­u­ing roll growth. Oteha Val­ley School, Massey’s Royal Road School and Don Buck Pri­mary School, and Up­per Har­bour Pri­mary School were listed as be­ing at risk for reach­ing ca­pac­ity.

Year two team leader Bonita Mowat said she was ‘‘lov­ing’’ the bright, warm space.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely more col­lab­o­ra­tive,’’ she said. ’’The acous­tics of the class­rooms [are pur­pose-built] for the en­vi­ron­ment.’’

The new build­ing will of­fi­cially open in term four.

AMY BAKER/STUFF

Green­hithe School prin­ci­pal Peter Mar­shall, year two teacher Adele Chich­ester with year two team leader Bonita Mowat in the new buildling.

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