New entrance to ease traffic chaos
Students, staff and visitors to Nayland College will have a smoother entry and exit next term.
The college is redeveloping its front entrance and improving traffic and pedestrian flows.
Principal Rex Smith said about 1000 students poured out of the school on to Nayland Rd at the busiest time of the day.
"We have buses coming into the school, we have parents coming into the school, we have people just using the school as a turnaround ... it's a complete and utter nightmare.
"There have been car accidents. Luckily, we haven't had any student accidents as yet.
"It just wasn't working."
The new layout will create separate entrances for vehicles and foot traffic, and includes a courtyard in front of the hall, visitor and staff car parking, and a visual display for modernised Nayland College signage.
The school is spending $300,000 on the two-year-old project, with additional costs for traffic redevelopment being met by the Nelson City Council.
Two new bus bays would be established in Nayland Rd just outside the school, Mr Smith said.
The project has required cutting down some of the trees that adorned the school's front entrance.
"It is unfortunate, but some of them were in areas where we planned to put things," Mr Smith said.
"We were not looking to get rid of the iconic oak tree by Block One."
However, the school recently learned that the oak's roots were threatening the foundations of the nearby teaching block, which would have cost too much to fix, he said.
"We are hoping to keep a substantial piece of the tree to do a carving."
Luckily, another of the college's beloved trees will not have to be felled or moved.
Nicolas D'Arcy's memorial tree was planted for a teacher who died suddenly in April 1987.
It will retain pride of place at the front of the school grounds.
The work is scheduled to finish within eight weeks, or six if weather permits.
The next project for the school will be the modernisation of the cramped computer room in Block One, with emphasis on an open layout. "It's where schools are going," Mr Smith said.