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Hamilton secondary school announces $8 million development


Hamilton secondary school announces $8 million development project

St Paul’s Collegiate School, an independent day and boarding school based in Hamilton, last night announced an $8 million development project made up of four key undertakings to be executed over the next 12 months.

The four key projects include launching a Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Science and Business; building a cutting edge learning hub; expanding the school’s current music block; and rebuilding one of the school’s boarding houses, Williams House.

St Paul’s is hoping to change the face of agribusiness education in New Zealand with the launch of The Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Science and Business in 2015. The industry-led project has been in the pipeline for two years and has attracted key industry partners including Beef and Lamb, BNZ, Livestock Improvement Corporation and Greenlea Premier Meats.

Headmaster of St Paul’s Collegiate School, Grant Lander, says St Paul’s has been working with key groups in the ag sector, industry businesses and professionals and tertiary institutes to develop a curriculum that will produce tertiary-qualified students for the sector.

“The Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Science and Business is of national significance; we have been working with the industry to discover how we, as a country, need to be educating the next generation of agribusiness leaders,” Mr Lander said.

“This course isn’t just for St Paul’s students; we have designed this course with the whole country in mind, with the needs of the agricultural industry driving us to make a change in the New Zealand education system.

“St Paul’s will set the template for the programme and work with a group of lead schools in 2015. In 2016, we will host a national conference and workshops for teachers who are interested in delivering the new curriculum.

“We will then offer the curriculum to secondary schools across the country in 2017, providing all students an opportunity to learn about the incredible career opportunities available to them within New Zealand’s largest export industry,” Mr Lander said.

St Paul’s students who choose the agribusiness programme as part of their NCEA curriculum will have access to a state-of-the-art learning centre that will boast video conferencing technology, connecting students with agribusiness professionals worldwide in a virtual classroom.

As well as launching the Centre of Excellence in 2015, St Paul’s will expand and remodel one of the school’s boarding houses. The opening of Williams House will complete the redevelopment of the school’s four boarding houses, which are now some of the most comfortable boarding facilities in the country.

The Williams House redevelopment will accommodate 30 extra beds for an expected increase in demand for boarding spaces as a result of the Centre of Excellence initiative. The house will allow for enhanced pastoral care with tutor and housemaster residences included in the building.

The next 24 months will also see the build of a cutting-edge learning hub, similar to the learning hubs used in tertiary institutes such as Wintec. St Paul’s original library was built in 1968, before the introduction of computers and collaborative learning.

St Paul’s plans to build a hub that will become the heart of the school’s learning. The building will boast open spaces, digital resources, increased learning support for students who require additional help and break out rooms for group discussion.

“Wintec is a prime example of a learning hub purpose-built for twenty first century learning, moving away from the traditional notion of a reader’s library and adopting open spaces with digital facilities.”

The expansion of the Mary Hornsby music centre is also on the cards for St Paul’s, with an additional music room, recording studio and group practice rooms being built for the almost 300 students taking instrumental lessons.

“Over the past two years we have had significant growth in the number of students opting to learn music. We now have more than a third of our students learning a musical instrument and so it is only natural that we expand our music centre to foster our students’ enthusiasm and talent,” Mr Lander said.

Although ambitious, the $8 million project is sure to go ahead with almost $2 million raised so far. St Paul’s Board of Trustees will match every donation, dollar for dollar, until the $8 million goal is reached.


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