Onehunga Primary site redevelopment will cater for 800
A new property plan will see Onehunga Primary School cater for at least 800 students by 2030, with a wholly redeveloped site.
The first of four stages will begin this year, with a four-storey building constructed on the current car park. This will have capacity for 17 teaching spaces, and administration space, and is due for completion around March 2023.
The roll growth project has been a long, and sometimes frustrating, process says principal Viki Holley and is something for which the school’s Board of Trustees has been pushing for some time.
“We’re really pleased to now have traction and a positive relationship with the Ministry. Our shared vision is to open up the school and provide a large area for play, and a field, with our Board working hard to keep as much green space as possible. Although the timeframes are set by the Ministry, we will be doing everything we can to move this project forward as quickly as possible.”
While the process has been challenging, the project is also full of positives, says Mrs Holley. The school is a challenging site. It sits on a hill and has historic walls and trees, and volcanic rock. However, this all adds to the potential to create a space taking advantage of those elements, says Viki Holley.
“It’s also a chance to do some exciting and different things with our classrooms, including collaborative teaching spaces and spaces which allow for flexibility for grouping children. This means teachers with complementary skills can collaborate and support children with different needs. “Our students deserve to play, and learn, in a fabulous school environment.”
The master plan for the site has been developed to cater for expected roll growth, which is predicted by Ministry statisticians using Auckland’s Unitary Plan, census data, and other sources. Viki Holley also does her own predictions, to help with planning. She works closely with Housing New Zealand to estimate how many students from their in-zone developments will add to the roll, and how to best welcome these families into the school community.
“Our roll has been steadily increasing and we know this isn’t going to stop. By building for that growth, we can look after our in-zone students, families and our staff. We’re really looking forward to this next phase where the reality of the classroom block will take shape. It’s an exciting time for us and the wider community.”