College options open for comment

21:26, Jun 18 2014

The detailed report on the future of Blenheim colleges has been released providing a breakdown of costs and other information for three selected options.

The report and additional ministry information runs to 30 pages, and the colleges have asked for a summary to be released on both college websites before the first consultation meeting.

The community has until July 30 to chose between three options the ministry has identified for the future of Blenheim's colleges, with the first public meeting on the issue on July 2.

Marlborough Boys' College and Marlborough Girls' College principals said they were relieved to finally release details to the public and they hoped the whole community would get involved.

Both principals said the first choice the community would need to make was whether Blenheim should have single sex or co-educational colleges.

The three options were: two colleges side-by-side on the one site, with the option of a tertiary addition, costing $51.5 million; retaining and maintaining existing colleges costing $10.8 million; and a co-educational college costing $52.6 million, excluding land costs.


Marlborough Girls' College principal Karen Stewart said the boards' main focus was to get as much information to the community as possible.

"The timeframe for the consultation is short and we want the community to have enough information to make decisions by July 30," she said.

She hoped all parents, even of primary school pupils, would consider the scenarios and what they wanted for their children before July 2 meeting.

Marlborough Boys' College principal Wayne Hegarty said they had asked the ministry to bring in people with specialist knowledge of similar scenarios to help parents decide. The ministry agreed to send people to the meeting who could talk to the different options.

Hegarty said parents should realise that Option B had a relatively small budget, but this was just to repair buildings. Getting buildings of similar quality to the other options would cost $30.8 million.

Both colleges need work on their buildings, because of age, earthquake risk and leaky building problems. This prompted the ministry to begin consultation to see what people wanted before spending the large amounts on repairing existing buildings. During the first consultation more than 350 people provided their views, included in a report by consultant Janet Kelly.

The next meeting is at 7pm on Wednesday, July 2, at the boys' college hall.

The Marlborough Express