Primary schools and bars are not a good mix, but a new student bar seems to have strengthened school and university relationships in Ilam.
The University of Canterbury opened the Foundry's new premises in April last year on the boundary of Ilam School.
The school's board of trustees gave permission for this despite a petition against it being signed by 200 parents.
Ilam School principal Paul Dolan said there had been no incidents and it had helped cement the relationship between the school and the university.
Since the opening of the bar, the school has been having regular meetings with the vice-chancellor.
"We now probably spend about one minute out of a 30-minute meeting talking about the Foundry."
Because of the meetings, the school had a closer relationship and the students benefited greatly from having a university next-door, he said.
Some students had problem-solving sessions in the university's maths garden and guest lecturers often popped in to talk to the school after a lecture at the university, Dolan said.
The University of Canterbury Students' Association and the university had provided security guards around the Foundry and the school.
They would monitor the crossing before and after school to make sure the children had no problems with the students, Dolan said.
"I cannot speak highly enough of the university security and the watch they keep on the school."
Parents Rod Fraser and Sean Tomlinson said as far as they were aware, there had not been any issues.
"Their behaviour is pretty good," Tomlinson said.
UCSA president Erin Jackson said the association and bar had a responsibility towards the school and the community because of the location.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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