Canterbury schools are set to benefit from Budget 2016, announced by Bill English last week.
The announcement will see more than $276 million dollars invested in the Canterbury school infrastructure.
Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye says the announcement is great news for Canterbury’s education network.
“This will see a significant injection of more than $268 million towards the Christchurch schools rebuild programme. There will also be an investment of around $8 million to fund an additional 21 classrooms across Canterbury, so that the region can meet the needs of current and future students as rolls grow,” explains Parata.
“These additional classrooms are among the 480 new classrooms announced as part of Budget 2016 to meet roll growth,” she says.
The total investment package is made up of around $168 million towards the Christchurch schools rebuild programme, with at least $100 million to build two new schools and deliver two relocated and rebuilt schools under public private partnerships (PPPs) – also as part of the Christchurch rebuild. Around $8 million will go towards new roll growth classrooms.
“The $1.14 billion Christchurch schools rebuild, which is a 10-year programme, is now in its third year,” says Parata.
“The $268 million investment announced today, together with baseline funding and insurance proceeds, means we’ve now committed close to two thirds of the overall funding for this programme, which is on-track to rebuild and renew 115 schools,” Parata explains.
“To date, seven schools have been completed, 10 are in construction, 21 are in design and nine are in the planning stage.
“Today’s announcement is great news for Canterbury’s new education network as it continues to rise from the rubble of the 2011 earthquake. In particular, the two new schools will be a welcome addition to the region,” she says.
Kaye says the $8 million funding for 21 new classrooms is for schools across Canterbury, reaching communities such as Methven.
“We can see significant growth in parts of Canterbury and these new classrooms will complement the Christchurch schools rebuild programme,” Kaye says.
“Over the last six months we’ve been in discussion with these schools, and I’m pleased to confirm that Budget 2016 has enabled us to give final approval for the following projects.”
· 9 new classrooms at Lincoln Primary School (this is in addition to funding already approved for five new classrooms)
· 6 new classrooms at Lincoln High School
· 2 new classrooms at Methven School (this is in addition to funding already approved for three new classrooms)
· 2 new classrooms at Amuri Area School
· 1 new classroom at Carew Peel Forest School
· 1 new classroom at Swannanoa School (this is in addition to funding already approved for two new classrooms).
“The two new schools being delivered as part of PPPs are Haeata Community Campus and Rolleston College, and the two relocated and rebuilt schools are Shirley Boys’ High School and Avonside Girls’ High School,” says Kaye.
“The two new schools will be provided as part of our second PPP, and the relocated schools will be delivered under the third school PPP, which I announced last December,” she explains.
“We’re committed to increasing the earthquake resilience of local schools, so this year’s Budget also provides $6 million to help state-integrated schools in Christchurch carry out seismic strengthening work,” says Kaye.
“Overall, this huge investment in Canterbury is about ensuring that students across the region can get the best education they can in modern, innovative and safe school environments,” adds Parata.