Kaka St Special School has a new name to better reflect its people and purpose.

As of January 1, Tauranga Special School came into being and principal Barrie Wickens said the renaming was positive for the school and its community.

Last year, the school celebrated its 50th birthday.

Mr Wickens said this event marked a "crossroads" for the future of the school.

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I think the rebranding will be very successful for us.

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He said the school consulted its community and it was decided the school should have a name which better reflected what the school was.

"Kaka St is an enigma. Our parents wanted the word 'special' left in. We went to the Ministry [of Education], they confirmed that as of January 1, 2016, we could call ourselves Tauranga Special School.

"I think the rebranding will be very successful for us."

The school no longer has a Kaka St address. Last year, it changed its entrance to 18th Ave and the Kaka St frontage is now the back of the school.

It also has satellite classes throughout the Western Bay, reflecting the school's need for a more relevant name.

Three have recently been opened at Brookfield School, Welcome Bay School and Papamoa College, and three others were already in place at Merivale School, Tauranga Intermediate and Te Puke Primary.

Mr Wickens said he had approached the Ministry of Education about setting up another satellite class at a new school at The Lakes, and he also hoped to get a class at a primary school in the Mount Maunganui/Papamoa area.

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Mr Wickens was proud of the school's growing roll. In 2002 when he started, there were 53 students. There are now 80 students, and more than 70 staff.

This year, the school will be fundraising for its internal playground and is in the process of redesigning a new building for its swimming pool.

Mr Wickens estimated they needed between $200,000 and $250,000 to complete the work.

Its KakaTec satellite class in Courtney Rd for older students will also be looking for a new premises this year.

The school's next step was creating a new logo and finalising all the administrative things like changing its website and altering its phonebook listing.