Within hours of Hereworth School announcing it would like to let girls in, parents were ringing up to get their daughters on to a wait list.
Hawke's Bay's last fully private school on Monday announced plans to become state-integrated and allow girls on to the school roll.
For almost 100 years the Havelock North school has been designed to teach boys from year 1 to 8.
But Hereworth School Trust Board chairman Jonathan Hensman said their recent application to the Ministry of Education will make them more accessible to the Hawke's Bay community.
"We're almost 100-years-old, the driving force for us is to prepare for the next 100 years," he said.
Fees could be cut in half if the board's application to MoE to become state-integrated is accepted, according to Hensman.
Hereworth would be following the likes of Iona College, Woodford House and Lindisfarne College, which have all been integrated for many years.
"Because of the constant pressure of rising fees and rising costs with education, we just went beyond the reach of too many people," Hensman said.
"We wanted to be proactive – it's about trying to be more accessible to a more diverse amount of people in the community rather than only those who can afford it."
With integration and becoming co-ed, Hensman said they will be able to considerably increase enrolments, which the school is already prepared to cater for.
He said having girls at Hereworth has been a major talking point on the Board to future-proof the preparatory school.
"Co-education keeps coming up as an obvious way forward to continue providing quality education."
Hensman said there's also been a lot of demand from parents to give their daughters equal opportunity in the classroom, with many old boys having voiced their want for them to include girls.
Since the announcement on Monday, Principal Trevor Barman said families have already been asking to put their daughters on a waiting list.
Katie Absolom's son Freddy is currently at Hereworth and while her younger son is on the waiting list to get in, she would love it if her daughter Arabella could get the same quality of education.
"We are thrilled with what Hereworth has offered our son Freddy and we are delighted that we can possibly offer our daughter the same," she said, "and she would thrive there".
Absolom said her and her husband always felt slightly short changed because the level of private education is there for boys in Hawke's Bay at primary school but not available for girls.
"Now that it's possible for our daughter is pretty exciting," she added.
Hensman said there is no guarantee the Ministry will accept the application and it's a long process, but their facilities are ready for the addition of girls and an increase in student numbers, which are currently around 200 boys.
"We've had almost a century of just boys, so our expertise just needs to be developed to our expertise with teaching girls as well," he added.
If their application is successful, Hereworth could be an integrated school from Term 1, 2022 and co-educational from Term 1, 2023.