School’s community cash call


Queenstown might be asked to stump up cash for higher-spec facilities at the new Wakatipu High School.

Principal Steve Hall says he’s considering asking for community funding, following the precedent set by Shotover Primary School.

Queenstown Lakes District Council committed $2.1 million to an extension of Shotover Primary’s sports hall – creating full-sized indoor courts which the community can use after hours.

Hall says: “That process is on the cards for us as well.”

The Ministry of Education spent $13.7m on the spectacular eight-hectare site at Remarkables Park for the new school. An overall cost hasn’t been settled.

The 1200-pupil school is being built through a public-private partnership by the ministry. It’s in negotiations with preferred bidder Future Schools Partners.

The consortium will design, finance and construct the school, and maintain it for 25 years - one of four nationwide at a total cost north of $200m.

But the specification of some facilities, such as sports courts and potentially drama/music rooms, could be boosted by community funding.

Hall says: “When the ministry allocates spaces [on the site] there’ll be the question that has come with other places around here _ do we want more, do we want better?

“We’re aware that might be the case and we’d potentially go out to the community, to councils or whatever else, and try to source funding for more facilities that we might want.

“That process is one of the next steps.”

Ministry of Education infrastructure service head Kim Shannon says she can’t comment until negotiations with Future Schools Partners are concluded.

Hall, his senior staff and the school’s board of trustees had a sneak peek at concept designs for the new school last week.

The school, which moves in 2018, has seen a 11.5 per cent increase in its roll in the last year alone, an increase
of 86 pupils from 746 to 832.