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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Cromwell Primary School will soon be home to four new classrooms, thanks to a $2 million capital works project designed to meet roll growth.

The block of four classrooms will ease pressure on the school’s other teaching facilities, including the board-owned library where two classes have been based for the past two and a-half years.

Principal Wendy Brooks said there were 30 more pupils on the school’s roll at the start of this year, compared with the start of last year, suggesting the new classrooms could not have come at a better time.

The roll is now up to 307.

“It’s the highest it’s been in a long time.”

Mrs Brooks said 90 of those children would move into the new state-of-the-art block of classrooms by about mid-April.

Based on a design the school’s build team saw in Christchurch, the new space will be multi-functional, allowing teachers to reconfigure the space using large sliding doors to divide areas off, or to open it up.

It will feature space for food technology, a green room for movie-making and stadium-style seating, among other features.

A mural design, which children at the school created for the community last year, will also feature as a splashback in the new building.

“[There will be] some special touches that bring the building alive,” Mrs Brooks said.

“It’s quite exciting for the students going in there.

“It’s given us flexibility – wide open spaces that can also be closed off with big sliding doors.”

The extra space, called a “digital learning hub”, would provide the school with options to teach children in a variety of ways.

Funding for the project was announced in June 2017.

“So, the project is long awaited in a school that is full.”

Mrs Brooks said the Ministry of Education had also established a “future property development plan” at the school to ensure a further response to roll growth was done in a cohesive way.

Under the five-year agreement (5YA) process, schools are allocated funds to use for capital works projects.

The capital works programme has a significant volume of major construction projects under way at various stages of planning, design and construction throughout the country.

As of August last year, there was about $1.6billion in active projects, with the following indicative total construction values: $600million in pre-planning/feasibility/business case, $618million in various stages of design and $418million in construction.