Queenstown’s independent school site chosen

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The Jack’s Point subdivision is the preferred site for a proposed private Queenstown school, Mountain Scene can reveal. 

The independent school, which could open within two years, would initially cater for up to 100 Year 7, 8 and 9 students. 

Jack’s Point was one of several sites considered by the proponents, led by Bruce Tong, founding principal of Auckland’s independent Wentworth College. 

Other potential sites reportedly included land near Queenstown Airport, near Millbrook and close to Coronet Peak Station. 

According to minutes of a working party which met for the first time last Friday, considerations included available infrastructure, the size of the site for future development, a location within 15 minutes of Frankton and the support of key stakeholders. 

Local project coordinator, Arrowtowner Lisa Guy – Tong’s sister-in-law – says Jack’s Point’s key stakeholders are supportive and are working on strategies to enable the school to move forward. Jack’s Point is attractive because there is enough land for the school’s necessary extracurricular activities, Guy says. 

“That rules out some of the CBD sites”. 

The school’s promoters are keen for it to maximise the advantages of its location – Jack’s Point already offers a championship golf course and is close to The Remarkables Ski Area. 

Guy says a site within the Jack’s Point zone – which includes undeveloped Henley Downs to the north – has still to be chosen. 

“There’s more than one, I believe. The key criterion is going to be, where is the infrastructure most feasible because of course you want those sorts of things in place to make consent and building that much easier.” 

Tong says about five hectares is needed to accommodate stage one with potential to expand with the growth of the school. 

Stage one would include about 10 classrooms.