Tag Archives: Schools

SBHS & AGHS relocation a coup for the east

An aerial view of the former QEII site - soon to be home to Avonside Girls', Shirley Boys' and the new eastern sport and recreation centre. Photo courtesy of Rebuild Christchurch.

An aerial view of the former QEII site – soon to be home to Avonside Girls’, Shirley Boys’ and the new eastern sport and recreation centre. Photo courtesy of Rebuild Christchurch.

Afters years of campaigning, Christchurch’s north-east will soon have its very own secondary school – two even! The Press reports:

Christchurch high schools Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ will both be built at Queen Elizabeth II Park.

They will share the site with a multimillion-dollar recreation centre.

Feedback from members of the Parklands and New Brighton communities has been most positive. In fact, I’ve even had open home attendees say that they’ve made the decision to move into the area because of the announcement.

For me, the decision was a no-brainer. The sheer size of the site, its close proximity to the coastline and Bottle Lake Forest, and also the expanding developments in Prestons and Waitikiri merely a 5-10 minute drive away all stacked up in favour of the QEII site.

Parata said the QEII site was the best because of the size of the available land, transport access and future flexibility and design potential.

The schools will continue to operate independently, maintaining their original character. Design will begin on the two schools next year, with completion expected in 2018.

They would benefit from being located alongside the Christchurch City Council’s eastern recreation and sport centre, Parata said.

The new complex would be smaller than Pioneer Recreation and Sports Centre but bigger than the Jellie Park Recreation and Sport Centre, Burwood-Pegasus Community Board council development manager Simon Battrick said in a report.

This, along with the expansion of Burwood Hospital and the announcement of a $20m apartment and retail development in New Brighton bodes well for the future of the north-eastern suburbs.

Driving around the local streets, it’s difficult to miss the hive of activity around us. Houses are being rebuilt or repaired, roads resealed and infrastructure improved. The interim disruption will pay dividends in the long run – it’s an exciting time to be a resident of the east!

QEII site for Shirley Boys, Avonside Girls?

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At last! The north-east might be getting what they’ve long asked for – a local secondary school. The Press reports:

QEII Park is one of two sites the Ministry of Education is considering for the rebuild of Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ high schools. The other site is Burwood Park.

The Ministry has yet to finalise how the schools would be located on either site but according to a statement released by Shirley Boys’ High, the northern section of Burwood Park and an eastern section of QEII Park were being considered.

About 10 hectares of land is needed to accommodate the schools.

I may be biased, but my preference is definitely for the QEII site. This could be a real boost to the north-eastern suburbs, especially with the proposed new housing developments in Prestons and Highfield Park. For some time, the lack of a local secondary school in the Parklands/Queenspark suburbs has been somewhat of a drawback for prospective purchasers. I think it’s also a great use of the former QEII site, especially if a sports/recreation centre can be constructed alongside (similar to the Graham Condon centre adjacent to Papanui

The Ministry of Education is expected to announce the preferred site for the rebuild of Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ next year.

It anticipates work starting on the school buildings in 2016 and being completed for the 2018 school year.

Although the two schools will share a site, they will operate independently.

Of course this is likely to go through a lengthy consultation process (and I’m sure there’s a range of varying opinions on the issue), I believe this could be a real positive for the local community and do a lot to bring families into the north-east. If this recreational haven of ours can be more family-friendly – let’s do it!

Avonside Girls’ & Shirley Boys’ to site-share

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Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced that both Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ high schools will relocate to a shared site.

Jody O’Callaghan at The Press reports:

The hunt is on for land anywhere from the central city to the sea to house more than 2000 students from two earthquake-damaged Christchurch secondary schools.

Education Minister Hekia Parata yesterday announced that the single-sex Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ high schools will relocate and share facilities in the east.

No other Christchurch secondary schools will close or merge.

The decision forms part of a $400 million investment to be made into secondary education in the city in the next 10 years.

No site has yet been identified, but it is understood a combined site of about 10 hectares will be needed with 1260 students at Boys’ and about 1000 pupils at Avonside.

Shirley Boys’ principal John Laurenson said he was “over the moon” with the news of a “bold new adventure ahead”

“It’s the way of the future, based on co-operation, not competition,” he said.

Though still a relatively long way off, it’s heartening to see that the Ministry has come forward with a sensible decision that continues the offering of single-sex education in the east. Both Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ tend to be the secondary schools of choice for parents and students on this side of the city, and this new collaborative approach between the two schools can only be a positive step for all stakeholders involved.

There’s no question that a home’s proximity to and zoning for good quality schools is a major factor for many home buyers, and this latest decision will go some way to alleviate the concerns of locals.

It’ll be interesting to see where this new shared school will be situated – of course my preference would be to have it in the north-east 🙂