Arhalia-May Patterson-Daly, 5 and Ky-mani Hansard, 5, were excited to be starting at Auckland Point School yesterday. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Building booms welcome new entrants

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It’s back to school this week for Nelson primary schools, and although rolls are looking steady heading into the new decade, building projects are taking off.

From classroom upgrades and paint jobs to major rebuilds – a government cash injection in December has so far been put to good use.

All state primary schools received between $50,000 and $400,000 (depending on their roll size) in the investment package for school-led property upgrade projects, which schools need to spend within two years.

Principal of Tahunanui School Barbabra Bowen says it’s been a good opportunity to give the school a “freshen up” with two new classrooms currently being upgraded.

“We’ve got new shades on the pool area and lots of little things like that which have been a long time coming.

“We’re excited about the year ahead. Our roll is stable at just over 300, no ups and downs with the same number of enrolments coming in.”

Rob Wemyss, principal at Clifton Terrace School is also reporting a steady roll, as well as some exciting property developments.

“Over the holidays we have been involved with a very funky painting upgrade on the exterior of the school. No more institutional looking buildings

on The Terrace anymore,” he says.

“We also have some large infrastructure projects in the planning stage and hope to start turning earth by later 2020.”

Rob says they also hope to complete a fencing project by the end of term.

Over at Victory School, a new walkway into the school is under construction, a new pellet burning boiler will go in before winter and a mountain bike track is also being established.

Auckland Point School is currently building a high dependency unit and have refurbished their swimming pool – but according to principal Sonya Hockley, there is something bigger in the pipeline.

“Our year is shaping up to be a very exciting one as we begin the planning for a major rebuild of our school within the next two to three years.”

The Minister of Education announced $7.5m for Auckland Point School last December on top of the $83,160 they received as part of the Government investment package.

“As you can imagine this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we will be working on a visioning and planning document entitled an ‘Education Brief’ that is the forerunner to any design or build work.”

Meanwhile, Sonya says their roll is looking steady for 2020.

“We ended 2019 with 130 students and our starting roll is beginning to shape up to be around 115.

“We are looking forward to welcoming all of our students and whanau to the new school year”.

Enner Glynn School principal Isaac Day said the school was currently undertaking accessibility upgrades along with weather tightness in the library, and also its five to 10 year building plan going on.

That was separate to the extra $240,000 from the Government, which the board was deciding on how to spend.

WHO GOT WHAT

Auckland Point School $83,160

Birchwood School $177,408

Clifton Terrace School $207,900

Enner Glynn School $237,699

Hampden Street School $327,096

Hira School $66,528

Nayland Primary School $282,744

Nelson Central School $327,096

Stoke School $185,031

Tahunanui School $200,970

Victory School $237,699