A new two-storey block containing 31 teaching spaces at Koru School in Mangere, Auckland, was opened today by Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye.

“The opening of this new block marks the completion of Stage One of Koru School’s $20 million, two-stage redevelopment,” says Ms Kaye.

“This is a huge project that involves replacing all of the school’s previous buildings.

“It’s great to see a modern, inspiring learning environment taking shape at the school, which experienced significant weathertightness issues with its old classrooms.”

Stage One of the project took just 12 months to complete, and work is now underway on construction of a new hall, library, administration building and netball courts. This next phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“Koru School has a teaching and learning style that draws on Maori and Pasifika cultural perspectives, and emphasises a collaborative approach to learning,” says Ms Kaye.

“The flexible learning spaces in the new classroom block will provide a perfect environment to support this approach.

“The cultural richness of the school was clear to me this morning, during the moving opening ceremony which included the whole school singing an amazing waiata.

“Students at the school have achieved great results in less than ideal facilities, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ll achieve in their inspiring new surroundings.

“It’s always inspiring to see schools which have a strong vision at the heart of their approach, and the students at Koru School clearly embody the sense of pride and resilience that their school promotes.”

The Koru School upgrade is one of a number of projects underway nationwide to modernise facilities, address legacy issues such as leaky buildings and expand classroom capacity to meet roll growth.

“Last year we announced $158 million worth of new classrooms for Auckland, with a further $13 million announced last month,” says Ms Kaye.

“Since 2014, around $375 million has also been approved for major redevelopments at 18 schools in Auckland. Around $112 million of this has been for schools in South Auckland, including Koru School.

“These investments are part of more than $5 billion committed for school infrastructure since 2008, the largest ever investment by a New Zealand government.

“We’re committed to modernising schools to provide a 21st Century learning environment, and accommodating roll growth in areas of New Zealand experiencing increased populations.”

Koru School is part of the Mangere South Community of Learning/Kahui Ako.

Communities of Learning are about increasing student achievement, through early education services, schools and tertiary providers working together to share expertise and lift the quality of teaching and learning.

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