Government’s $164m plan for new classrooms to accommodate bulging school rolls

The Government hopes to create 3000 construction jobs by investing $164 million to upgrade classrooms around the country.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today’s announcement, including several new classrooms for bulging school rolls, would see better school infrastructure for 7500 students.

“We are prioritising construction projects in schools so more young New Zealanders can learn in warm, dry and modern classrooms that are fit-for-purpose,” he said.

“The Ministry of Education and schools will be engaging with local builders, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, and electricians, who will in turn need to buy products and supplies from local stores.”

Hipkins made the announcement in Greytown School in Wairarapa today, which will receive a $6 million investment for four new classrooms and a replacement for a “severely deteriorated” 100-year-old, five-classroom block.

He released a list of North Island projects, worth $132m. They include:

• $4.5 million for roll growth classrooms at two Tai Tokerau schools – Karetu School (one roll growth classroom) and Kaitaia School (five roll growth classrooms)

• Over $10 million to expand Ormiston Primary School (250 additional student places)

• Over $10 million to expand Kauri Flats School (350 additional student places)

• $9 million to redevelop and expand Browns Bay School (286 upgraded or additional student places)

• $30 million for 91 short-term roll growth classrooms in Auckland

• $4 million for roll growth classrooms at two Waikato schools – Raglan Area School (four roll growth classroom) and Hukanui School (two roll growth classrooms)

• Over $30 million for three new schools and expansions in the Bay of Plenty for more than additional 1000 students – Te Okuroa Drive School (Stage 2 expansion), Papamoa College (Stage 3 & 4 expansion), Taumata School (Stage 2 expansion)

• $2.5 million for roll growth classrooms at two Gisborne schools – Wainui Beach School (two roll growth classrooms) and Waikirikiri School (two roll growth classrooms)

• $1 million for two roll growth classrooms at Te Horo School in Otaki

• $25 million for 77 short-term roll growth classrooms at 24 schools in the North Island (excluding Auckland).

Tomorrow, Hipkins will announce South Island school investments worth $32m.

He said building these projects was supported by the Government’s $320m scheme to make training and apprenticeships in targeted industries free.

The scheme began on July 1 this year, and 14,000 people have since started apprenticeships – 7500 people more than in the previous year.

The schools upgrade is part the Government’s National School Redevelopment Programme, which aims to upgrade 180 schools over the next decade.

It was launched in July,when several upgrades were revealed.

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