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Classy additions to North Canterbury schools

Classy additions to North Canterbury schools

Digital hubs, learning streets and whānau spaces.

As modern learning goes these are all about the use of flexible learning spaces, a central feature of the Ministry of Education’s $16 million upgrade programme at four north Canterbury schools.

With Corbel Construction having already commenced work at Oxford Area, Rangiora Borough, Ashgrove and Southbrook schools, more than 2,000 children and teachers are looking forward to testing out the new layouts from first term 2017.

Work on the Rangiora Borough School, which has a roll of around 560 students, extends to the construction of four new classrooms, the replacement of a six-classroom permanent block and the addition of two relocatable classrooms. Oxford Area School, with around 530 students, will benefit from six new classrooms and two new relocatable buildings, while Ashgrove with around 515 students is in line for three new classrooms and five additional relocatable classrooms. Southbrook, the smallest of the schools with a roll of around 350, gets four new teaching spaces, two new classrooms and a new school administration building and library.

The refurbishments are intended to ensure schools have ‘fit for purpose’, safe and inspiring learning environments and are able to accommodate current and future growth.

Corbel managing director Craig Jones says the project is progressing well across all four sites with demolition work able to be completed during the last holiday period. “All four of these projects overlap school terms so our overriding focus is on ensuring safety and minimising disruption.”

Jones says this extends to use of separate entrances, no deliveries during drop off and pick up times and strict adherence to local noise control regulations. “Our project team also communicates regularly with the school principals and other stakeholders so everybody is aware of progress. Where feasible and safe, we like to bring the kids into the construction area, using assembly areas with child friendly hoardings. This not only shows them what we’re doing and what their new school will look like, but links back to the parents and the community.”

Corbel, a Christchurch based company, has a long and successful association with the Ministry and is working on a number of projects in the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme. This includes the $5 million refurbishment of Shirley Primary School.


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