After much anticipation and excitement, the start of term two has seen the opening of Shirley Boys’ and Avonside Girls’ High Schools on the all-new campus in QEII Park. In just under two years we have watched these state-of-the-art facilities evolve from the remains of the former QEII Sports Stadium. The two schools share some spaces while allowing each other to maintain their own identity; a first for New Zealand education.
Servicing the north-eastern catchment areas for over 100 years, Avonside Girls’ first acquisition dates back as far as 1918 and Shirley Boys’ was first established in 1957. Obviously, the Canterbury earthquake sequence has been the catalyst for this new landmark development. Full credit to the main drivers behind this project who have shown great foresight and initiative.
Driving by recently just after school was out, the local streets were awash with students, not to mention the back to back bus layby. Certainly, a real buzz of activity and positive energy that can only be good for the greater north-east of the city.
The new campus provides two theatres, two gymnasiums with one that can be divided for multi-use and there’s even a climbing wall. Amongst several playing fields there is also as a full-sized hockey field and numerous tennis courts.
The new location to support a combined roll of 2,400, has also meant that new zones have been rolled out accordingly. While there is hot debate as to what suburbs should be included, the transitional zone extends from just north of Queenspark School to the end of South New Brighton, including South New Brighton, Rawhiti, Waitakiri and Parkview Schools. Moving forward many families propose that the future zone includes the existing Avonside Girls and Shirley Boys zones plus the Marshland catchment area.
There’s a community open night scheduled for Thursday 23rd May – we can’t wait to have a look through!
It’s been a great start to 2017 for the north-east with the council breaking ground for the construction of the new QEII Recreation and Sport Centre on Tuesday.
Rebuild Christchurch reports:
The new centre will include leisure and training pools, as well as a hydroslide, water adventure playground, steamroom and sauna, fitness centre and a café.
Mayor Dalziel and Cr East led a sod-turning ceremony that included the handing over of a sapling in conjunction with Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri. The ceremony set the stage for Apollo Projects to begin work on the site in earnest.
“The new QEII Recreation and Sport Centre will be an outstanding asset which will see the return of swimming and fitness amenities to QEII Park,” Mayor Dalziel says.
“Today’s ground-breaking ceremony for the centre marks a new beginning for the east and will become the heart of this community,” she says.
The new facility is scheduled to open in mid-2018, and will be joined by the relocated Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ High Schools, which are scheduled to open in 2019.
Speaking to Avonside Girls’ principal Sue Hume at a recent senior school graduation it was inspiring to hear the excitement in her voice as planning for the new public private partnership (PPP) ramps up with the focus on breaking ground at the beginning of 2017’s second quarter. Not only does the system provide for greater hands-on input, the resulting facilities are going to be far superior to what has been available in the past. Having this educational/public sports and recreation hub established on the former QEll site will unquestionably be a massive asset in the east for many years to come.
It’s definitely exciting times for the north-east with a proliferation of new residential development, state of the art educational facilities being constructed and the massive expansion of Burwood Hospital. The flow on effects to residential property values in the local area are likely to be significant.