Rotorua Boys' High School's new multi-million dollar science facility has been given the green light - after more than three years of waiting.
Figures from the Rotorua Lakes Council obtained by the Rotorua Daily Post show a building consent valued at $5.5 million has been issued for the new science block.
It was part of more than $18.5m worth of residential and commercial building consents issued last month.
Principal Chris Grinter said it was "very exciting" news to have the consent.
"It's something we have been waiting for and working towards for many years."
Grinter said the existing facility was built in the 1930s and was no longer fit for purpose because of growing demand for teaching spaces.
"Roll growth has meant we are very much in need of more teaching spaces in the school and so these specialist science spaces became a first choice."
The new $5.5m science block will include 10 teaching spaces plus offices, preparation rooms and common areas.
It has been more than three years since the Ministry of Education first announced its plans to spend more than $7m on building projects at Rotorua schools in 2018.
The Ministry gives schools a budget to upgrade, modernise or replace buildings. This is known as the five-year agreement or 5ya funding.
It also funds capital works to redevelop or expand schools.
The high school set aside $1.6m from its 5ya funding to demolish its existing science block and build a new one.
At the time, Grinter told the Rotorua Daily Post the school planned to open the block in 2020.
"I think it is safe to say the demands from schools for property works and new builds must require some juggling and prioritising. But we are nearly there and 10 years of planning is close at hand.
"An advantage I guess in having this long lead-in time is that we have had the time to carefully plan and refine our design."
Grinter said science was a growing subject area in the school and Stem (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects were strongly promoted.
"We know this group of subjects and related skill sets are very much in demand."
The science project is the first step in the school's plan to completely rework its site in the next 20 years.
The ministry's head of education infrastructure service, Kim Shannon, said the ninistry expected the construction of the science block to start in the next few weeks.
It was expected to be completed by 2023.
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Source: Rotorua Lakes Council