Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe has today celebrated the first sod being turned for the relocation and rebuild of Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ High Schools at their new co-located site at QEII park in Christchurch. 

Mr Macindoe attended a sod turning ceremony at the new site earlier today to mark this significant milestone.

“This multimillion dollar project will provide modern, innovative learning environments which have been co-designed with each school to meet their individual needs and support their vision for their students. Each school will continue to operate independently, maintaining their original character and focus,” says Mr Macindoe.

The co-located site will also include:

  • a Performing Arts Centre with a 750-seat theatre and a second smaller 100-seat theatre,
  • four full-sized sportsfields with a 400-metre running track,
  • three full-sized indoor gymnasiums, two of which can be joined to host events,
  • a café and fully-equipped commercial teaching kitchen,
  • a new centrally located, satellite facility for students with special needs, operated by Ferndale School.

“This project is complex in that the two schools are working with the Ministry of Education to plan for their relocation and design their new facilities while also continuing to deliver excellent education from their existing sites. I would like to acknowledge and thank both schools for the way that they have managed this,” says Mr Macindoe.

The relocation and rebuild of these two schools continue the government’s $1.137 billion investment in renewing, repairing and rebuilding 115 schools in greater Christchurch by 2022.

“All over Christchurch, there are projects underway, with a very high standard of new schools and buildings coming out of the rebuild programme. We are on track to have all 115 school projects completed on time,” says Mr Macindoe.

This project will be delivered through the $220 million Public Private Partnership (PPP) with ShapEd, the Ministry of Education’s third PPP.

“This is one of the largest projects in the Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme and I am confident that the PPP model being used will deliver world class design, construction and facilities management, as well as overall value for money,” says Mr Macindoe.

“Overall, including the Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme, this government has committed over $5 billion in school property expenditure, more than any other government.”

The construction work at Queen Elizabeth II Park (QEII) is expected to be complete by Term Two of 2019.

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