Soil turning ceremonies today will mark the start of two education construction projects in New Plymouth, at Spotswood College and the wharekura Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea, says Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye.

“Spotswood College is getting a new $2 million learning support centre for students with special education needs, while at Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea the $1.6 million project will deliver four extra classrooms to help meet roll growth, says Ms Kaye.

Local MP Jonathan Young will turn the soil at both ceremonies today on behalf of Minister Kaye.

“The Spotswood College Learning Support Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility, which will replace an existing building with weathertightness issues,” says Ms Kaye.

“The new centre will be the equivalent of four learning spaces, compared to the existing single classroom facility. This will help cater for projected roll growth in the region.

“It’s essential that students with learning support needs receive the same educational opportunities as their peers, and the new facility will help ensure this happens. It will be located at the heart of the school, so that students feel included in the wider school community.

“At Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea, the new four classroom block will help the wharekura accommodate an increase in students, as more whanau in the region choose a Maori medium education for their children.

“This project will deliver an innovative learning environment, with flexible learning spaces to enable different ways of teaching and learning, the latest IT infrastructure to support digital learning, and high standards of acoustics, lighting and ventilation.

“A second stage to the redevelopment is being planned to accommodate future roll growth.

“These two projects in New Plymouth are part of ongoing work in our regions, as well as our larger centres, to upgrade and expand school infrastructure.

“We’ve committed more than $5 billion to new and upgraded schools and classrooms since 2008, significantly more than any previous government.

“We want students to learn in environments that inspire them to achieve to the best of their abilities, which is why we’re transforming schools to address legacy issues such as old, leaky buildings, and providing the extra classrooms needed to accommodate growing rolls.”

Construction on both New Plymouth projects is expected to be completed by September this year.

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