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!
With the keys ready to be handed over, the opening of a brand new shared campus for Avonside Girls and Shirley Boys high schools has created a new buzz in the real estate market. Local property is in demand as families continue to relocate and secure homes within the zone of these schools. It’s a great thing to see in the eastern suburbs and we expect to see these trends continue as all Christchurch state secondary schools look set to become zoned in the near future.
Without a doubt, enquiries are greater across the board. Just last week, a new listing triggered double the enquiry of a similar property that was out of zone. It’s a trend we haven’t seen for a while and it’s incredibly positive for the community seeing families moving into the north-east for schooling as opposed to moving out.
Click here to read more about this state-of-the art educational facility.
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.
Amongst a hive of activity there is no question that suburban north-eastern Christchurch is well and truly in a heightened rebuild phase. Horizontal infrastructure continues, which of course means endless road works and the need to almost weekly plot a new course to get to work! Both commercial and residential construction is constantly emerging on the horizon and it’s heartening to see these new builds scattered throughout the older eastern suburbs. This definitely proves “life after” and confirms the desire of locals to return and re-establish themselves where they left off nearly five years ago – the end result is far better than the former. Continue reading →
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.
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!
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!
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 🙂