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Minister gives performance centre green light

A major new facility for the performing arts in Christchurch will become a reality following Government approval to the construction of the Aurora Centre.

The new auditorium will be built in the grounds of Burnside High School and will be used by Burnside High School during the day and by the community at other times.

Announcing the go-ahead today, the Associate Minister of Education, Lianne Dalziel, said a steering group established in 1994 originally drove the project. Since then the Aurora Trust, chaired by Margaret Murray, has been formed and countless hours have been spend by the Trust working towards their objective.

"The success in raising the almost $5 million required is testament to their vision and commitment on behalf of all of the future users of the facility. It has been a mammoth effort and no doubt they will watch the construction of the building with considerable interest and justifiable pride over the next several months."

Lianne Dalziel congratulated the Burnside High School Board of Trustees, which has been a major supporter and has made a substantial financial contribution to the project. "The school's community will be rewarded when their students have access to a facility second to none in a New Zealand secondary school setting," she said. Government is also contributing $790,000 to the project.

"The Government is committed to improving education outcomes and will continue to ensure that schools are adequately resourced to meet all curriculum needs including those associated with the performing arts," she said.

"I'm particularly pleased to be announcing the allocation of the funds to the project as the Minister with delegated responsibility for Adult Education and Community Learning."

"The project is an excellent example of partnership between a school and its community, and is the sort of initiative the Government encourages. There is a real strength in schools and communities working together to achieve common objectives. Major new buildings are expensive, and sharing of the costs and extending use outside normal school hours results in benefits all round," Lianne Dalziel said.

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