Parents at Warkworth Primary School have been told that a $13 million redevelopment project at the school has been delayed for six months because of a budget shortfall at the Ministry of Education.
The senior school moved from the old school across Hill Street to the junior school in July, on the understanding that the demolition of the old school was about to start.
At the end of the school year in December, Board of Trustee chair Sheralyn Cotton said in a school newsletter that the school was very disappointed by the delay.
“We moved to the junior campus at the Ministry’s request, at the end of Term 2, which we now find was well premature,” she said.
“Unfortunately, these delays were not anticipated by the Ministry or the project managers who control the building project. The school has no control over these matters.”
However, the Ministry’s head of education infrastructure service, Kim Shannon, says the move in July was necessary to allow work to start on the buildings that are being retained.
“This work required the interruption of electrical and internet services, which would have disrupted teaching and learning if the senior school had not relocated,” Ms Shannon says.
“As is common in large construction projects, some design changes were required. These have been resolved and submitted to Auckland Council to issue consents. Pending these consents, we expect the work to recommence next month.”
As part of the senior school redevelopment, 10 existing classrooms, the administration area and the old school dental clinic will be demolished, and a new two-storey block with 14 teaching spaces, three music rooms, a library and a changing room will be built along the western edge of the campus, parallel with Kaspar Street. The school hall will remain, along with the current staffroom and resource room, which will be redeveloped as a stand-alone building.
The new school layout has been designed to allow for the maximum hard court play area, so students have space for sport and play should Shoesmith Domain be closed for any reason.
Ms Cotton says the work is expected to be finished around the middle of next year.
“That will be followed by the removal of the old buildings on the junior campus, after which the new play areas will be formed,” she says.
The school has just over 300 senior students.
The old senior classrooms have been fenced off ready to be demolished since July.