New classrooms meet Winton School growth

MARY WITSEY
Last updated 09:52 06/05/2014
classroom

TOP CLASS: Winton School student council members Riley Ballantyne, from left, Talia Hall and Owen and Ethan Ellis show Southland District Council mayor Gary Tong around one of the new classrooms which was officially opened at the school yesterday. Dramatic roll growth has seen several new developments at the school in recent years.

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The Winton School roll continues to grow, with another two new classrooms opened yesterday, topping off close to $1.7 million in new developments at the school since 2010.

Principal Steve Wadsworth put the increased numbers at the school down to the population growth in the town. The latest census had the Winton population increase by 6 per cent, from 2088 people in 2006 to 2211 in 2013.

Southland District Council Mayor Gary Tong cut the ribbon on the new $450,000 two-room block as the school also welcomed a fresh new-entrants class, gearing up for 300 pupils, a 13th classroom by year's end and the largest roll at the school in at least 20 years.

"Opening classrooms is a great pleasure for me," Tong said, "because it shows that our communities are going ahead. Winton's always been positive; it's a great community. People are moving to the town and they're staying here."

Another new $200,000 classroom was built at Winton School in 2012, with a $1m spend on two new classrooms, a new library and administration block, multi- purpose area and hall upgrade preceding that.

And it doesn't stop there, with principal Steve Wadsworth pointing to a modernisation plan for another five classrooms within the main block this Christmas and a PTA-driven adventure playground and obstacle course set for development later this year.

"It certainly is exciting times ahead for our school. We enjoy a good reputation and a lot of hard work has gone into developing the educational opportunities on offer here."

Winton Community Board chairman John McHugh was also enthusiastic.

"As an ex-pupil, I can remember when we only had five classrooms here - so this growth is just incredible. It's absolutely brilliant for Winton."

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