New $1.2m special needs unit confirmed for Naenae College
Naenae College is moving into the final stages of a building "rationalisation" plan, going out to tender for demolition of a science block containing eight laboratories and resource rooms.
Principal John Russell says the college, built in 1953, catered for 1200 pupils in its heyday but now has a roll of 800, "though it's going up again".
The 1200 square metre science block was built in the 1970s and was run down.
A former arts block has been converted into new science labs.
Two more single storey buildings, of about 400 square metres each, that had been used for ESOL (English as a Second Language) and adult classes will also be pulled down over Christmas.
About $1.3 million has been spent from the college's five-year capital works budget in a sort of "classroom musical chairs" around the campus. Mr Russell says they have tightened up on the parts of the school they want to continue to use, and have upgraded all of these areas to a modern standard.
The college also recently went to tender for a new special needs unit.
The current unit, with 29 students, was crammed into a facility originally built for 13.
A prefab had been "parking alongside" to ease space constraints but the Ministry of Education has approved $1.2 million for construction of a new building. Tenders have come in "right on the mark," he says.
Mr Russell says the Hutt Valley is a popular location for families with special needs children because it is flat, with good access to facilities.
The new unit, due for completion by the end of the first term in 2013, will have places for 30 pupils and the indications are that when it opens it will be full.
Mr Russell says teaching and other spaces at the college "are now looking pretty tidy".
The area where the three large buildings are being removed will become an outdoor recreation space and a landscaping plan is also being prepared for the nearby quad and playing courts.
- Hutt News