School build gathers pace

Up and up: Primary steelwork in the south-east corner

Queenstown’s new mega-bucks high school is taking shape.

The Wakatipu High School project, on Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, has gone vertical with the structural steel and precast concrete walls.

All structural work is expected to be completed before Christmas, with facade framing, roofing and windows coming in the new year.

Principal Steve Hall says: “It’s amazing – things are moving fast.

“I know they’ve worked hard on the foundations but when the walls and structural steel starts to go up, you can see the progress.

“Hawkins [Construction] tells us they’re really happy with where they’re at with the project; they had a good autumn and winter.”

Project manager Blair Grier says the project is on schedule.

All groundwork, including foundations and concrete slab work, is now complete.

Pupils are due to move from the Fryer Street site to Frankton for the 2018 school year.

It will have an initial roll capacity of 1200 students, with the potential to expand to 1800.

The school will feature regular and specialised ‘learning spaces’, social spaces, a 400-seat theatre, a gym, library, dance studio, music rehearsal room and recording studio.

Outdoor sports areas are rugby, soccer and cricket pitches, a 400m running track, 100m sprint track and six hard courts for netball and tennis.

But Hall says the school’s still working behind the scenes on funding to make various elements bigger and better.

“The main building is well sorted but there are some other things we’d like and we’re continuing to work away on those things.”

Future Schools Partners, which includes building giant Hawkins, won a $300 million government contract to build four schools, including Wakatipu High, under a public-private partnership.