It's out with the old and in with the new at Stratford High School, with an upgrade set to modernise the front of the school area.
Principal Cameron Stone says the Board of Trustees felt it was time to modernise the area.
"Part of my job and the board's job is creating an environment staff and students can be proud of and connect to. We believe this upgrade is happening at the perfect time and the finished result will be something we can all be proud of."
Upgrade work started on the last day of term four and has continued throughout the Christmas school holidays.
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"The upgrade is expected to be completed in February."
The work is being completed in two parts.
"In front of the main doors will be a concrete concourse to provide a safe, welcoming space for the school community. A boardwalk will connect this to the area which will have more greenery and concrete paths that allow students to flow between classes during the day. The whole area will be planted with guidance from a landscape architect."
The upgrade is funded by the Government's School Investment Package. To access the funding, boards need to present a project proposal to their property adviser and work with the ministry on an approved budget and delivery timeline.
"All schools in New Zealand receive funding so they can complete property upgrades they wouldn't have been able to do otherwise."
He says while the modernisation means the loss of car parks, he believes the upgrade will make the front of the school look inviting.
"We still have 64 car parks available on-site. I understand it may be frustrating to lose those parks, but having a nice clear front of the school area will be great, and will also be safer for our rangatahi. As well as this, it's more user-friendly and will bring a nice street appeal, being the first place people see."