Kaitaia Primary School principal Brendon Morrissey has no idea how much Te Hiku is going to grow over the next generation, but he and his school are well prepared for a baby boom.
The school will officially open six new roll-growth classrooms on Friday next week (August 6), with a service at 6am and a student service at 10am. The furniture will then be moved in, and children will begin using them the following Monday.
"It's the end of a process that actually started at the end of 2019," Morrissey said.
"Unfortunately, Covid-19 slowed our plans down a bit. After that we had to navigate significant details with the Heritage NZ team. We had excellent support from Te Rarawa, NgāiTakoto and Ngāti Kahu iwi with this process. With all the process and paperwork, however, it ended up being a winter build, with extensive supply delays, but now we have finally got there."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Along with the buildings came new carparks. After many years, parking area adjacent to Mission Place Kindergarten was now a roundabout, with much improved traffic flow and improved visibility (of children). A carpark extension would provide more off-street spaces for staff, freeing up more parking for parents/caregivers, which he expected to please "quite a number" of people.
All in all, the school was now set up to cope with further growth for the next 20-30 years, maybe more. The school roll, currently 350, could comfortably grow to 550.
"I don't know exactly how fast the population in Te Hiku is going to grow over the next 20-30 years, but I do know that our school is ready," Morrissey said.
"Our tamariki, staff and BOT would love to see past pupils, staff and whānau at our whakatūwhera. We'd also love to see anyone else from our community who has never been to visit our school and would just like to find out more about it."