Looking forward to redevelopment: Queenstown Primary principal Fiona Cavanagh


Plans are afoot for an almost total rebuild of Queenstown Primary School.

The Robins Road school’s working on a 10-year masterplan in which the only buildings to survive would be the hall and the intermediate and junior blocks which, as principal Fiona Cavanagh says, were both built this century.

About nine relocatable classrooms would be replaced by 15 classrooms in two-storey blocks.

“It’s going to be amazing, and it’s going to be purpose-built for an alpine environment.”

Citing single-glazed, thin-walled relocatable classrooms where you can just about peel off the exterior cladding, Cavanagh says the 45-year-old, 635-pupil school needs modernising.

“It’s sort of been the ugly duckling”.

The masterplan’s being prepared by a design team in Christchurch, engaged by the Ministry of Education.

Once that’s nailed down, a business case will then be put to the government for approval, she explains.

“We’re hoping the first stage will happen within the next 18 months to two years.”

However, she says the school’s unaware of what budget, timeframe or extent of development will be approved.

Meanwhile, Queenstown Primary received a one-off $400,000 property grant from the government late last year which it’ll use to take out the front bank and make a major entranceway.

During the last summer holidays, Cavanagh says a significant sum was spent on the playing field, which kids should be able to play on this winter.

Drainage work’s also underway.

And later this year, a giant rope spider frame will be installed.

That was fundraised by the school’s Parent Teacher Association to the tune of almost $80,000.