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Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye will visit three Christchurch schools today to celebrate the completion of new classrooms and facilities, which are part of redevelopment projects valued at around $20 million.

Ms Kaye will be visiting Cashmere Primary School, Halswell Residential College and Avonhead Primary School.

“I’m celebrating projects at both ends of the construction spectrum in Christchurch today,” says Ms Kaye.

“Earlier this morning, I visited the site of the new Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school, where I turned the soil to mark the start of construction of the school’s new $30 million inner-city facilities.

“I’m really looking forward to visiting the other schools to see the new facilities that are now completed and up and running.

“At Cashmere Primary School, I will plant a tree to mark the completion of a new, $3 million two-storey block containing nine teaching spaces.

“This is the first stage of a multi-phased $8 million project, which will also see all the school’s other facilities refurbished this year.

“The school has worked with Ngai Tahu to develop names for their buildings, reflecting their cultural narrative based around the kereru, Te Pae Kereru.

“At Halswell Residential College, I will return the Mauri to the ground to mark the opening of $9 million worth of new facilities, including family-style villas and a multi-purpose learning environment.

“Halswell’s residential-based approach provides learning for students with disabilities and behavioural issues, with a focus on learning life skills that help develop dignity, a sense of worthiness and independence.

“These are fantastic new facilities that are very welcoming and embody the spirit of the college.

“At Avonhead Primary School, I will cut a ribbon to mark the opening of a new classroom block comprising four teaching spaces, as well as three other redeveloped blocks which together create an innovative learning environment at the school. This was a $5.3 million project.

“I know the school and contractors worked hard to phase the project to minimise disruption to learning, and the school will be thrilled that it has now been completed.

“Avonhead Primary School prides itself on its ability to support a rich diversity of ethnicities, with a family driven Pacifica Cultural Group, an annual cultural evening and a Kapahaka Group.

“Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony will celebrate the school’s history as well as its future, with the ribbon held by the school’s newest entrant and an ex-pupil who attended the school on its first day back in 1959.

“All of the schools I’m visiting today are part of the $1.137 billion Christchurch School Rebuild programme, which is about rebuilding or renewing 115 schools by 2022.

“To date, 11 schools have been completed, 25 are under construction and 25 will see construction start this year.

“Some of the work has been logistically challenging but we’re on time and within budget, which is great news for local families and communities.

“Christchurch will have a second-to-none school network as a result of this massive, ten-year programme.”

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