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April, 2022

Provision is being made for a second high school in the Whakatipu,
pegged to open in 2030  around the same time as Wakatipu High
School is likely to hit full student capacity.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) has been eyeing up sites for another
high school for some time  earlier this year it attempted to take the
14.6-hectare property at 516 Ladies Mile, bought by Queenstowns
council in 2019 for just under $14 million, though that was rebuffed by
But one of three landowners on the northern side of Ladies Mile says
they want to work with MoE to build a second high school there.
Ladies Mile developer Sanderson Group  responsible for Queenstown
Country Club retirement village and the neighbour ing Kawarau Park
precinct  owns 489 Ladies Mile.
Sanderson Group CEO Jared Baronian says between them and two other
neighbouring landowners theres about 8ha of land on which, under the
councils proposed masterplan, due to go back to council for
consideration on June 3, a future high school could sit.
[Were] wanting to work with the MoE to get the high school outcome
achieved there, Baronian says.
That school could open in eight years for 1100 students, with ultimate
capacity of 1800.
MoEs infrastructure and digital leader Scott Evans says the ministry
has a requirement for a secondary and primary school in the Ladies
Mile area, but is remaining tight-lipped when it comes to where.
Were unable to comment on the exact site locations because
discussions with landowners are ongoing and commercially sensitive.
The ministry has been engaged in the masterplanning process, and is in
regular and productive communication with key stakeholders, including
a number of landowners, Evans says.
Outgoing WHS principal Steve Hall says he understands the ministrys
already done
some leg work on what Queenstowns next high school might look like,
with a few options in play.
Thats because once the existing high schools phase two expansion
finishes at the start of next year theyll have hit site capacity.
The project started in June, 2020, to increase WHSs student capacity
from 1200 to 1800.
It includes two extra teaching wings and a new double gym.
Hall says the schools roll is sitting at 1220.
He anticipates thatll grow by another 100 next year, and estimates WHS
will cap out by the end of this decade.
Beyond that, they need another school, he says.
The ministry will ultimately make the call on what that school looks
like, but options include having it under the auspices of the WHS board,
so you essentially have one school, two campuses, or using one site
as a WHS junior and middle school campus and the other for seniors.
Clearly, it wont be my call but you can see some advantage in that.
Hall accepts, though, the clocks ticking.
It took four years from the time then-Education Minister Hekia Parata
confirmed the new $50m high school at Frankton would be built, until it
opened, in February, 2018.
It will be 2023 when phase twos finished, and it wont feel like that
long till itll have to be being looked at if Queens town and the school
continues to grow, Hall says.

Source: Mountain Scene


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