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The technology building, once part of the Delta air force base on Waihopai Valley Rd in the 1940s, still had blackboards and chalk.
‘‘Everywhere you go here, there’s history. How do you transfer the history on the walls here onto another site?’’ Hegarty said.
‘‘One of your ministry people did say we could take the stained glass window.’’
Marlborough Boys’ College board of trustees co-deputy chairwoman Lynette Rayner said some staff opposed the plan to colocate the colleges side-by-side on a new greenfield site when it was announced in 2015.
‘‘There are staff that want to stay here, but a very small group of staff. Originally it was a large number but once they got out with their peers to see what’s available, you could feel the change in their tone.
‘‘Out of a staff of 65, probably 60-odd teachers support it now. At first, it was more like 70/30.’’
Over at the Marlborough Girls’ College, principal Maryjeanne Lynch said almost every building on the Mclauchlan St campus had ongoing issues.
‘‘And these are issues that are pretty significant,’’ Lynch said.
The careers room was damp and ‘‘smelly’’, but was still being used as there were no other suitable rooms.
It had to be checked regularly for mould, Lynch said.
The science and technology classrooms, built in the 90s, had internal guttering that leaked.
Some buildings had faulty wiring, and some needed earthquake strengthening, Lynch said.
‘‘People say this is a beautiful school. But what they don’t see is the stuff that’s going on behind the walls,’’ Lynch told Hipkins.
‘‘We’re doing our best and we just keep repairing things.’’
The community preferred colocation, Lynch said.
‘‘Co-location is about having the best of both worlds. It can be whatever you want it to be. It’s got to reflect what the community wants and we can actually make it work both ways with colocation.
‘‘And if you want to modify the buildings to have different learning spaces and skill-based education, then it’s extremely difficult to do that with our current buildings, and extremely expensive.’’
The principals had ‘‘made the case’’ for co-location ‘‘very strongly’’, Hipkins said.
He would not be consulting the public again on that point, saying it was clear the community preferred co-location.
‘‘I don’t want to go back to the drawing board,’’ Hipkins said.
‘‘The main thing is securing a site. So we’re continuing to explore the possibility of a greenfield site and updating the costs involved.
‘‘We know from experience, with the co-location of Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ in Christchurch that it will probably cost more than what was initially budgeted.
‘‘We also talked to the [Marlborough District] council, which has offered its help with finding a site.’’
But if a greenfield site could not be found, the ministry would have to consider other options, Hipkins said.
‘‘I don’t want to see this drag on forever.
‘‘The local community has waited long enough. It’s been about five years and I really want to see some action.’’
Mayor John Leggett, who hosted Hipkins’ tour, said it was encouraging to hear the process was progressing ‘‘without delay’’.
Leggett had suggested to Hipkins several potential sites for co-location, he said.
‘‘Council will continue to play a strategic planning role in the ministry’s future discussions and proposals. I’m confident we have value to add,’’ Leggett said.
‘‘There is no doubt at all that we need this investment in our secondary education facilities and that Marlborough deserves it.’’