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Wainuiomata school boards look forward

Wainuiomata EDI - Both college boards look forward to challenge

Wainuiomata secondary schools' Transition Committee

Media Release Wainuiomata EDI - Both college boards look forward to challenge

Monday, August 6, 2001

"The war is over, the battle has just begun". That's the message from the Transition Committee - the group of Parkway and Wainuiomata college trustees whose job it now is to do most of the work to create a new secondary school in Wainuiomata.

With the announcement this evening of Education Minister Trevor Mallard's final decision on the site of the new college, the Committee is facing the challenge of having it operational by the first day of Term 1, 2002.

"The issue of which site the new school would be created on has understandably occupied the community up until this point," says Committee Chair Rex Widerstrom.

"But with that decided, we're looking forward to harnessing the energy and passion that the community has displayed to face a far greater challenge - ensuring that the new college has exceptional resources and facilities to meet the needs of the community, and especially its young people, well into the future.

"Neither existing site was going to be up to the task of handling almost a doubling of student numbers, let alone being able to cope with encompassing the far greater range of courses and opportunities Wainuiomata has indicated it wants it's new college to offer," Mr Widerstrom pointed out.

"What happens next is that we sit down with the Ministry of Education and we tell them what this community wants in a new secondary school. Then they tell us the amount of money they are prepared to invest in that. Having got past the war over which site the new college sits on, the more important battle is just beginning - to win the resources we need to build a school that will meet and exceed the needs of the community well into the 21st century.

"When we're negotiating with the Ministry, and the Minister, it's going to be crucial for us to be able to say 'this is what Wainuiomata wants', and have them know that it's not just this committee, but the whole of the valley, that holds those expectations," he said. "That means people need to devote the same energy and passion they displayed over the site issue to debating what kind of school they want to create."

The Transition Committee - made up of parent and staff representatives from both Parkway and Wainuiomata Colleges (with student members ex-officio) has delegated authority from the Continuing Board (as set down in the Education Act) to work on creating a new secondary school for Wainuiomata.

For further comment: Rex Widerstrom (025) 549-637

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