Wellington stalls our new school

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Queenstown’s new Remarkables School has been dealt yet another blow – its final funding application has been sidestepped by caretaker cabinet ministers this week.

The board for the proposed primary in Frankton was gutted when its application wasn’t heard before the election – it was instead forwarded to interim officials for consideration on Monday.

But board chairman Roy Thompson says they’ll now have to wait until a new government is formed before getting a final answer.

“I’ve been told the caretaker ministers didn’t feel they had a strong enough mandate to sign off such a large project,” he says.

“Our funding application is now sitting in the Beehive waiting for the next lot to take over but we don’t know where this type of spending will be on their list of priorities.”

Thompson now fears a “significant delay” to the planned 2010 opening date for the new school – and they’re now in a race against the clock.

“If we aren’t in a position to continue with detailed design work within the next few days, we think we aren’t going to meet the already very ambitious construction targets,” he says.

Thompson admits he’s appealed to in­­coming Deputy Prime Minister Bill English for assistance.

“As our local MP, he’s been very vocal about the need for better educational facilities. I’ve sent him a message outlining our situation and making a bit of a cry for help.”