Students at Pillans Point School no longer have to learn in makeshift classrooms in their library and school hall.

Today eight new classrooms were officially opened at the school, with a student haka and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges in attendance.

A surge in population and roll numbers forced the school to hold classes in the library and school hall while waiting for new classrooms to be built.

Principal Matt Simeon said the new classrooms were a long time coming, about four years in the making from funding, planning and building.


"They give the school a bit of a heart again."

The school of 480 children had not been able to have a whole assembly for a long time.

"The kids have been resilient, for them it's like 'oh we learn in here now', but the staff are pretty excited - having waited for this for four years - about not having to teach in the school hall or library but in a modern learning environment."

The roll-funded eight new classrooms were in an open-plan building with a new entrance.

Though the classrooms meant students no longer had to learn in the library or hall, there was still more development to go, Mr Simeon said.

"We have a bit more work to do."

Four prefab classrooms on the school field were set up at the beginning of the project, and the plan was to remove them once the new classrooms were completed.

"They won't be going anywhere, we still require them. Our roll is still steadily growing; we had an additional 17 or 18 children we didn't know about put on the roll this year."


Mr Simeon expected the roll to be about 560 children by the end of the year.

"We've been growing at such a pace other schools in Tauranga are familiar with."

Today's opening ceremony included speeches by Mr Simeon, the board chairman and Mr Bridges, who had supported the project at various times.

Mr Bridges read the youngest students a story after the official opening.

Infrastructure lagging behind growth rates and demand was a major issue for many schools around Tauranga.

Tauranga Boys' College was having to use creative methods to find teaching spaces and Matua Primary School was growing at a rate which meant the school needed a new classroom each year.

The government has allocated $18 million for a new school in Pyes Pa for 650 students, and earmarked $2.5m for six new classrooms at schools in the region.