Education Minister Nikki Kaye and Associate Education Minister Louise Upston today announced the official opening of the $14 million redevelopment of Northland College in Kaikohe.
Ms Upston was at the college this morning for the official opening ceremony.
Ms Kaye says today is a big day for the college and the communities it serves.
“This was a major project that was effectively a school rebuild. When I visited the college in August 2015, I acknowledged that they’d been working in less than ideal conditions for some time,” says Ms Kaye.
“It was great to be able to announce the redevelopment then, and to see the completion of this big project just under two years later, which means students can now learn in a modern, innovative environment.
“I was in Waitangi last Saturday, where I met some amazing young people who are overcoming challenging backgrounds to get on a positive path to success.
“The Government is committed to investing in Northland and supporting the region and its young people to realise their potential.”
Ms Upston says the modern new facilities at Northland College, which include a multi-purpose gymnasium, library and technology areas, will provide students with the best opportunities for learning.
“With features like digital learning which increases engagement and an attached farm and forest and trades academies, Northland College is well-placed to develop better learning pathways for its students,” says Ms Upston.
“It’s particularly pleasing that Ngapuhi iwi and the local were involved in the design of the new college block from the outset.
“The Government believes it’s important that local communities and iwi are engaged with their local schools in all aspects.”
The 21 new teaching are designed to be innovative learning environments.
The design of the new buildings includes flexible spaces and the new gymnasium and hall will provide indoor sports on full-size courts.
“Unlike traditional single classrooms where a teacher works with a single class, today’s teachers work more collaboratively with students in different sized groups and individually,” Ms Upston says.
There is also a new teen parent unit near the school complex that will allow students who are parents to continue their studies in a specially adapted environment.
The new college can accommodate 350 students but has the potential to be expanded to take up to 450 students.