Avonside Girls' can stay longer

Posted 10 Jun 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in Media , Education
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Avonside Girls High

NEW ROOMS: The school's main building was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.


Until recently the Government would confirm the school's use of its earthquake-damaged site only for this year and next, despite spending $10 million on it.Avonside Girls' High School now has some certainty about its future.

However, the Education Ministry told the school late last month it could continue to use its home site in Avonside Dr "beyond the original two-year time frame".

Avonside Girls' High School board of trustees chairman Tim Bergin said the school now had the same status as any other in Christchurch.

"It gives us some certainty and that is the big thing."

Prospective parents and pupils could choose Avonside without that "big black cloud hanging over it", Bergin said.

The school spent most of last year site-sharing at Burnside High School after many of its buildings were damaged beyond repair in the February 22 earthquake.

The school returned to its home at the beginning of this year.

It now has more than 60 new buildings after most of its original buildings were pulled down.

Bergin said he believed the school's roll, which had dropped from more than 1200 to about 960, had suffered because of the uncertainty created by the two-year time frame.

He believed the school would be run from its existing buildings at its existing site for at least the next five to 10 years, because it would take that long for any rebuilding to be completed.

"If your daughter starts at Avonside Girls' High School next year, in all probability she will finish her education at Avonside."

Principal Sue Hume said she was pleased at the removal of the two-year time frame because it created a lot of doubt. The school had excellent facilities that could be used well beyond two years.

Ministry earthquake recovery team programme manager Coralanne Child said a geotechnical report due at end of this month would provide clarity on the school's long-term future.

"Decisions around the future of Avonside Girls' High School will also need to be informed by any decisions to be made around the future provision of secondary education across greater Christchurch," she said.


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