Two of Hawke's Bay's oldest schools will get new classrooms as part of a five-room spend in the region and the Gisborne area announced yesterday by Minister of Education Hekia Parata.
Eskdale School, which opened in 1859 and underwent a major redevelopment in the 1990s, will get two of the classrooms and one will go to Clive School, which opened in 1879. Each has a roll of about 250.
Clive School principal Brian Eales said it was "packed to the gunwales" at his school between Napier and Hastings with the library pressed into classroom action pending the placement of the new classroom.
The minister said about $1.8m was being invested in the two schools and in Gisborne's Kaiti School, to meet the flow-on effect on school rolls from population growth.
"Like many parts of New Zealand, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are experiencing population growth.
We're committed to building new classrooms where this growth is having a flow-on effect on school rolls," Ms Parata said.
"Earlier this year, along with Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye, I announced $4m for eight new classrooms in Hawke's Bay as part of Budget 2016.
"Today's investment comes on top of that, and is part of a second round of investments in roll growth classrooms under this year's Budget."
A spend of $4m for eight new classrooms in Hawke's Bay was announced as part of Budget 2016, and the minister has since announced plans to spend $19m for the redevelopment of Flaxmere College and nearby Kimi Ora Community School by 2018.
Tukituki MP Craig Foss said he welcomed the announcement of building the additional new classrooms.
"This is good news for these smaller communities who will benefit from this investment in their schools," Mr Foss said.
"This investment is as a result of population growth in Hawke's Bay. This Government is committed to building new classrooms where this growth is having a flow-on effect on school rolls."
"Today's announcement follows on from earlier announcements of $4m from Budget 2016 into Havelock North school infrastructure and over $19m to redevelop Flaxmere College and Kimi Ora School.
"This is a further demonstration of this Government's commitment throughout Hawke's Bay."