Children have been having classes in the library and hall at Houghton Valley School, while the library books have been moved to a van by the courts.

It's a bit crowded, but the school has welcomed the news that a new classroom costing about $500,000 will be built.

Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe stood in the school's library-turned-classroom this afternoon to tell students about the new room that would be built for them.

The new classroom isn't expected to be finished until 2019, but principal Raewyn Watson hopes it will give them plenty of space for the foreseeable future.


Macindoe told the gathered children a "lovely" part of his job was going around the country to tell students about the new classrooms they would be getting.

He told the children it cost roughly half a million dollars to build the average classroom.

Regional infrastructure manager Lucy Ross said the price created a space of about 100sq m, and there were a lot of "site works" involved.

"We're finding in this day and age we're putting a lot of money into the infrastructure before we actually get to build the classroom," she told the Herald.

A platform might need to be built, new electrical systems might be needed, and there could be costs around waste water. Working at a school "triggers additional work you may not think of".

Those classrooms could contain a toilet block or a separate office space, she said.

Board chairwoman Sarah Graydon said the announcement on the new classroom was "very welcome news".

"We're stoked," she said.

"I for one plan to go home and start watching old episodes of Grand Designs," she said.

"We're thrilled to be getting a new classroom, and that it will help make sure we've got the right sort of physical environment for our children to learn in and to meet the needs of our growing community."

Macindoe said the Ministry of Education was paying close attention to population projections to try to stay ahead of roll growth, but keeping up with the growth was a "relatively reactive" process.

He said there was "more to come" in funding for crowded schools around the country, and Houghton Valley School was in the "first tranche" of announcements.

Watson said the school was "relieved" to be getting the new room.