Work begins on New Zealand’s biggest ever school redevelopment

Issue: Volume 95, Number 19

Posted: 25 October 2016
Reference #: 1H9d4u

Construction is about to start on a $75 million redevelopment of Western Springs College – the biggest ever investment in a New Zealand school.

A sod-turning ceremony in September marked the start of construction, which is an exciting milestone for the project.

Around $75 million has been earmarked for the redevelopment of Western Springs, with a further $4 million set aside to upgrade The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC), which is located on the school grounds.

Construction has started on a temporary school that will be used for some lessons during the redevelopment. The temporary spaces are expected to be completed in term 1, 2017.

The school has faced considerable issues due to the geotechnical challenges of the site it was built on, which is a former quarry and landfill.

That, combined with aging buildings and weathertightness issues, has made this one of the most complex school redevelopments ever undertaken in New Zealand.

Almost 80 per cent of the existing learning spaces at Western Springs College will be replaced entirely and the remaining teaching spaces will be upgraded.

The redevelopment will deliver modern learning facilities for staff and students. Two brand new building blocks will be constructed, comprising 73 new teaching spaces. This includes 12 for the Māori immersion Rumaki, Nga Puna o Waiorea.

A new gymnasium and a whare tapere (Māori performing arts theatre) will also be built as part of the project and the existing hall and administration block upgraded.

Roll capacity at the school will increase from more than 1,300 students to around 1,700 students.

The $4 million invested in TAPAC will address weathertightness issues and ensure the facility can continue to support arts and culture at the school and within the community.

The full redevelopment is expected to be completed in late 2018, ready for the start of the 2019 school year.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 7:32 pm, 25 October 2016

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