College feedback favours one site

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:26 05/08/2014

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Marlborough provided an "excellent" community response on the colleges' proposal with 620 submissions received, facilitator Janet Kelly said.

Kelly said the submissions favoured "option A", moving one or two schools to co-locate them on the same site. Most wanted a "greenfields" site, she said.

The community response was "fantastic" with a lot of good comments made on the options, Kelly said. She was "pulling together" a draft report now for the boards of Marlborough Boys' and Marlborough Girls' colleges to consider before she finalised it.

The finalised report would go to the Education Ministry by the end of this month, and the ministry intended to get it to the minister quickly, Kelly said.

It was expected with the minister by the end of this month, she said. "It's in her hands after that."

Don Couling, education private secretary to Education Minister Hekia Parata, said yesterday there was no time frame set for the minister to consider the options, but she would deal with it as soon as she could.

"She has been to Blenheim recently and is well aware of the public interest and won't be letting it sit longer than possible."

Asked if the election could cause a delay, Couling said Parata would "honour her obligations as rapidly as she could".

Kelly said the community's preference came through "quite clearly". Almost two-thirds of the submissions favoured having the two schools located together on the same site but run separately. Most of those favoured having the schools both move onto a "greenfields" site.

"It's significant. Most people who support that option have also said where they support it, do it on a greenfields site. Site size is very important to people." Most submissions came through the online Survey Monkey mechanism, with 527 submissions coming through that way. The other 93 came as hard copies direct to her.

"I think it has been really good response. There was a huge response from the parents of primary school-aged pupils and preschool children, which is really good."

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- The Marlborough Express

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