Start date set for Te Anau classroom construction

Te Anau School principal Grant Excell pictured in February taking questions and comments from a group of Year 3 students at the site of where their new classrooms will be located. PHOTO: Claire Kaplan

Construction for Te Anau School's two new classrooms is set to start over the next holiday period in October.

Te Anau School principal Grant Excell said they had a start date set at the beginning of October to coincide with the holiday period.

Mr Excell said the aim was to do most of the interruptive work — such as setting foundations and moving the sand pit — while the children were away, and the area would be fenced off when the kids returned. 

Crews would be on site to set up the classrooms over the next 12 weeks. 

The buildings include two new classrooms for their new entrant classes in Years 0 and 1, as well as a shared breakout space in between them. 

A 3D view of the new classrooms coming to Te Anau School.

In February this year the Government announced that Te Anau School would receive $800,000 for two new classrooms to meet the demands of its steadily expanding student population, which is one of the largest in its history. Mr Excell said this year's official July roll had the school at 236, and next year it was reasonable to predict that number to grow to 255 students.

The classrooms were a great thing for the school to meet the demands of the upward trend, Mr Excell said. In recent years the school had turned to using its library as a temporary classroom to fit the growing numbers.

Mr Excell said the consistent growth trend was coming from a mix of demographics. People who grew up in the region and later left were returning as young families. There were also strong numbers in the region's early childhood centres, and more people were moving to Fiordland for the lifestyle and cost of living. Those numbers were topped up by immigrant families working in the region, he said. 

In the future the school was also looking at replacing its school hall to cater for the larger population. At this point the project was in its planning stages, Mr Excell said.

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