March, 2020Its thought most Wakatipu High students could be studying in
classrooms next year, just three years after the school moved into new
This less-than-ideal situation arises as the school prepares for a building
programme thatll extend its capacity from 1200 to 1800 students.
The disruption will occur as the extensions tacked onto the present
complex, and also because therell be modifications to the current
building, says principal, Steve Hall.
The new elements are eight learning spaces, at the same two-storey
height as the existing main block, a doubling of the gym, two basketball
courts, a new storage shed and more carparks.
Its not confirmed yet, but Halls picking that contractors will start
He says it would be better if the disruptive work starts late this year,
when senior students begin finishing their school year early.
However, he concedes theres a chance most teaching next year will
take place in temporary classrooms described as modular
transportable buildings ahead of a hoped-for end-of-year
Just how many students will be affected, and for how long, is still being
worked out, he says.
Theres basically a trade-off between disruption and completion.
If we want very, very little disruption, and the [contractors] only
allowed to work on tiny, tiny bits of the [present] building at any one
time, the completion will be a long time [away].
However, whatever the disruption, Halls confident students and staff
The good thing is weve shown we can deal with significant change,
like we did moving from the old school to this school.
Theres no question that when this is done, its going to be
fantastic, well have lots of space.
Its one of those things where, short term, its going to be a
but long term, this is fantastic.
Hes also delighted that work will start this year as the schools roll is
already close to 1100.
Thats why weve been pushing to get this work done, because we
just continuing to grow.
In fact, Hall says the first meeting held to plan phase two occurred
before the school moved two years ago.
In a perfect world, this would have all been done in round one, but it
wasnt, so we just need to manage ourselves as we go through this
As to when the school hits the 1800-student ceiling, he says the current
projection, which needs updating, is 2027-28.
What we understand from the Ministry [of Education] is when we get
1800, they will have to build another high school.
Thats our most recent understanding.
Source: Mountain Scene
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