Govt snaps up land for new Wakatipu school

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It’s official – the Wakatipu’s next primary school will be at Shotover Country. 

Co-developers Grant and Sharyn Stalker have sold three hectares of land from its 120ha site to the Ministry of Education, Mountain Scene can reveal. 

Shotover Primary is expected to accommodate up to 450 pupils once its scheduled opening rolls around in February 2015, Grant says. 

The couple are part of The Ladies Mile Trust, the group behind a new $300 million, 800-home development which is bordered by the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers, Ladies Mile highway and Lake Hayes Estate. 

The Ministry of Education approached the Stalkers – who used to farm the land – five years ago about the prospect of a school. 

“They saw the opportunity and the scale of the development to be able to find a space to establish a school rather than trying to retro-fit a school into pre-existing areas in the district,” Grant says. 

“We gave them the opportunity to identify a school site early in the piece.” 

The land – east of Stalker Road and on the same terrace as the development’s stage one – has been sold for an undisclosed sum. 

“We’ll be starting to build the infrastructure to supply the school next year,” Grant explains. 

“The ministry will go through the school designation process next year.” 

The announcement will be welcome relief for prospective Shotover Country homeowners and many frustrated Lake Hayes Estate parents whose kids have been excluded from the resort’s newest school, Remarkables 
Primary. 

The flash Frankton school was forced to rezone due to huge roll growth – 18 months after its February 2010 opening. 

“It’s going to be well-placed within the development. It’ll give certainty to all the people within the zone that they have a readily-accessible school for their children,” Grant says. 

The first 54 residential sections in Shotover Country’s first stage went on the market two weeks ago. 

Grant says before the school’s construction begins, the link road to Lake Hayes Estate will be built. There’ll also be a cycleway between the school and Lake Hayes Estate.