A Northland college, which was described as one of the most dilapidated in the country, has been given $14 million for a makeover.
The announcement by the Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye has brought great relief for the principal and students.
William Hohepa says, “Yeah beautiful. Good to see the Government cares about us. Good to see some funding actually coming to us. It's a good step in the right direction. But I still believe there are a few more things that need to happen at this school for it to really reach its full potential and for the kids to reach their full potential.”
The Minister says that today marks the culmination of a process of assessment, consultation and planning.
Nikki Kaye says, “Pretty much it's a new school and that'll be not only an investment in terms of the teaching place and modern learning environment but we're also going to see some investment in things, like the changing rooms for the school pool because we know that a community facility so it's a great day.”
Principal, Jim Luder says, “Auē! Overjoyed. Overjoyed for our kids and overjoyed for the community.”
It's been three years since the Education Review Office reported the school was in an appalling condition.
The Ministry of Education allocated $1.5 million for urgent works.
A commissioner is currently in place at Northland College due to the school's previous poor history of student achievement and financial mismanagement.
Nikki Kaye says, “We do know that this has been a leaky building and there’s been old buildings here. It’s been a long time coming in terms of this project and I think it will lift the spirits of the staff and the community generally.”
William Hohepa says, “We all just got used to it. We just did it. You know, there's mould on the wall, that's just us. I think the kids don't realise that when we get a new school, I think that the prestige will lift and kids will want to be proud to be from this school instead of oh yeah we're from Northland College.”