The cost of rebuilding schools and tertiary institutions in quake-hit Christchurch could top $1 billion, according to a new Government report which says nearly all of its 215 state and integrated schools have received damage over the past 20 months of shaking.
The report, Directions for Education Renewal in Greater Christchurch, estimates it could cost $750 million over 10 years to repair state and integrated schools, with the repair bill for major public tertiary institutions running at around $300 million.
Among the ideas proposed is the establishment of education campuses which would see tertiary education, schools, early childhood education and social services on a single site.
The report also proposes more flexible learning spaces that could be designed to suit different types of teaching and learning.
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There is no "simple fix", and the plan depends on a range of options being looked at, the authors write. It accepts that there will be a gap between insurance payouts and the cost of repairs. Some of the shortfall will be met through rationalisation of facilities, some by using existing reserves, and some by "reprioritisation" of existing capital budgets.
Education Minister Hekia Parata said: "Given the extent of the damage and the population movement ... the sector cannot be returned to how it was."
But inequalities could be addressed and best practice ensured.