Around $18 million will be invested to build more new classrooms in Auckland, say Education Minister Nikki Kaye and Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe.

Ms Kaye made the announcement this afternoon during a visit to Torbay School.

“The focus of this investment is building additional classrooms to accommodate roll growth, but it includes some replacement classrooms to continue our ongoing modernisation of existing school infrastructure,” says Ms Kaye.

“The investment will see 30 classrooms constructed at four schools across the city, and builds on the $21 million we announced in June for 41 new classrooms in Auckland.”

The schools benefiting from the latest investment are:

Torbay School – 12-classroom block (comprising 8 additional and 4 replacement classrooms) Owairaka District School – 8 classrooms (5 additional and 3 replacement) Kereru Park Campus – 4 additional classrooms Clendon Park School – 6 additional classrooms.

“Today’s investment will provide around 460 extra student places, adding to the 680 additional places announced in June,” says Ms Kaye.

“In total, we plan to deliver 4,000 extra student places for the Auckland region as part of Budget 2017.

“Combined with 17,000 student places previously announced, we’re on-track to deliver a total of 21,000 new student places for Auckland by 2021.

“Auckland is one of our fastest-growing areas, and the Government is committed to ensuring the city’s school network can accommodate this.

“To help plan for growth, the Ministry of Education is working more closely with local authorities and infrastructure providers and taking a longer-term view to identify where land may be needed for new schools.

“This year’s Budget provided an additional $8 million to support the Ministry to better forecast and plan for future growth in the school network.”

Mr Macindoe says that the building of extra classrooms is often combined with replacement classroom projects, as this makes both financial and practical sense.

“We want to achieve the best result for taxpayers and also minimise disruption to schools,” says Mr Macindoe.

“When new schools or classrooms are built, this also offers the opportunity to build flexible learning spaces that support an innovative learning environment.

“A school’s physical environment plays a part in supporting and inspiring students’ success, and the new classrooms announced today will be able to support a range of teaching approaches, from one-on-one to group learning. They will also feature high-quality lighting, acoustics and ventilation, as well as the latest digital infrastructure to support digital learning.”

Mr Macindoe says today’s investment is part of $240 million allocated for Auckland school infrastructure under Budget 2017, with $87 million provided for roll growth classrooms across the city.

“As well as new classrooms, the $240 million investment will deliver four new schools, one major school expansion, the relocation of two special education schools to co-locate on one site, and additional special education satellite units,” says Mr Macindoe.

“This follows more than $160 million announced under Budget 2016 for five new schools, four of which will be delivered through public private partnerships, as well as a school expansion and new roll growth classrooms in Auckland.”

Budget 17 is investing $456.5 million in education infrastructure nationally, taking this Government’s investment in extending and upgrading schools to well over $5 billion.

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