Stoke School head students Lilly Hall, left, and Taira Whareherehere with Nelson MP Nick Smith and principal Peter Mitchener in front of the playcentre set to be converted into two new entrants classes.

New classrooms for Stoke

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Three new classrooms will be built in Stoke, it was announced this morning.

Stoke School will have two new classrooms built with another at Birchwood School.

Education minister Hekia Parata says $800,000 will be spent on the new classrooms.

“Across New Zealand, regions such as Blenheim and Nelson are experiencing population growth, and this is having a flow-on effect on school rolls,” says Ms Parata.

“We’re committed to providing new classrooms for schools that need extra capacity.”

Nelson MP Nick Smith says there is strong population growth in Stoke and the government needs to ensure it matches it with investment in schools.

“The roll at Stoke School has grown from 140 in 2008 to 260 this year. This roll increase reflects the broader growth in housing in Stoke, as well as the school being recognised as providing excellent education. The government funding will enable the existing play centre to be purchased, upgraded and become the new entrants’ classroom space

“The extra classroom at Birchwood School is also a reflection of the population growth in the area and a school which provides a strong programme of primary education.”

Stoke School principal Peter Mitchener says the school are extremely excited to move forward.

“It’s wonderful and very needed, currently we’ve got one class working in the shared resource base between classrooms so the children are here now but we need the space so it is really exciting to get the go ahead to get two spaces.”

 

The funding will be used to purchase and repurpose the onsite playcentre that has stood empty since the start of this year, converting it into two new entrant classrooms.

Today’s announcement is part of a second round of investments in new classrooms under Budget 2016, which provides $882.5 million for school property, including 480 classrooms nationwide to meet roll growth.

“Under the first round of funding announced in June, Motueka High School will receive around $1 million for three new classrooms,” says Ms Parata.

A third round of investments is expected in February next year.

“As with all new classrooms, the focus of these latest investments will be on providing flexible learning spaces that support an innovative learning environment.

“We want to support students to achieve to the very best of their potential, and providing the right physical learning environment is an important part of this.”