The Government is pumping $27 million into Central Otago and Southland schools to help cater for growth.
That includes $17 million for a new primary school near Queenstown.
Minister of Education Chris Hipkins released the education growth plans for the Otago/Southland region at Queenstown’s Shotover Primary School this morning.
”We know Queenstown is one of the fastest growing areas in the country and we need to be ready for it. The plan forecasts new classrooms and schools for about 5000 extra students may be needed in Otago and Southland’s highest growth areas by 2030,” he said.
”The previous Government didn’t adequately plan for growth and for too long schools have had to make do by using libraries and school halls when their school rolls increased.”
The new school and classrooms will allow for an extra 840 pupils.
”We need to make sure families in some of our fastest growing areas around the country can be confident their local schools will have enough space for their kids,” Mr Hipkins said.
The announcement was part of the wider National Education Growth Plan which forecasts that an additional 100,000 new student places are needed across the country by 2030.
The new primary school, located at Hanley’s Farm near Queenstown, will provide space for 400 pupils.
In addition, $10 million has been earmarked for up to 20 new classrooms, accommodating 440 pupils, at five schools in Central Otago and Southland.
Shotover Primary School will receive six new classrooms for 132 pupils, both Alexandra School and Hawea Flat School at Wanakawill get four new classrooms for 88 pupils apiece, and both Garston School and Cromwell Primary School will get three new classrooms providing an additional 66 student places each.
Mr Hipkins said further announcements will be made for schools in the area when ”planning is more advanced”.