Ministry of Education Hautu Te Tai Runga (leader, South) Nancy Bell told The News this week the Queenstown Lakes District Council population projections and spatial plan had revealed Lake Hawea would be the right place for a school that could meet the future needs of the Hawea community.

It is now searching for a site of between 3ha to 4ha on which it can build.

‘‘We know that we will have to expand schooling to meet future growth and want to ensure it will be in the right place that provides the greatest level of access for the majority of families.

‘‘This is why we are starting to plan for the potential relocation of Hawea Flat School,’’ Ms Bell said.

Ms Bell said planning was in its early stages and the ministry would work closely with the school and the school community.

It would take between seven and 10 years to deliver a new school, so in the meantime eight new relocatable classrooms were being built to cater for ongoing roll growth.

‘‘These buildings are light, spacious and built for modern teaching practice and are able to be re›sited should we need to do so in the future,’’ Ms Bell said.

She confirmed the wider Hawea community would have opportunities to contribute to site planning and future learning priorities.

The acquisition process was guided by the Public Works Act and it was too early for wider community engagement now, Ms Bell said.

The ministry would continue to keep the school board updated and consult the community when the time was right, she said.

Hawea Flat school improvement halted; plans to shift instead