Site for new city high schools sought

17:00, Aug 17 2014

The Education Ministry remains guarded about options for the relocated Avonside Girls' and Shirley Boys' high schools but expects to secure a site by the end of the year.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced in October last year the two damaged schools would operate on the same site from 2018.

It is understood a combined site of about 10 hectares will be needed with 1260 pupils at Shirley Boys' and about 1000 pupils at Avonside Girls', but the ministry was yet to secure the land.

Ministry head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said the land acquisition was expected by the end of this year, well ahead of the date set for construction to begin.

The ministry would meet with the school boards of trustees this month to discuss progress on the $80 million relocation and rebuild.

"A final site for both schools has not yet been confirmed as we are bound by the Public Works Act which sets out a detailed timeframe for the required due diligence on the evaluation and identification of sites, Casey said.

"We are aware finding a new site is an important milestone that will provide greater certainty to the schools, parents and communities, and [we] are working hard to get the right site."

The schools would continue to operate independently of each other, but sharing specialist facilities and resources.

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