Burnside Primary School

16:00, Jan 28 2013
Burnside Primary School
CLOSURE PROPOSED: The ministry has estimated it will cost about $8.9 million to repair Burnside Primary School.

Burnside Primary School

Address: 96 Memorial Ave, Burnside, Christchurch

Website: burnsideprimary.school.nz

School type: Contributing (Year 1-6), decile 5

School roll change (from 2008 to July 2012): 245 to 210

Building damage: All 11 of the school's buildings have some earthquake damage, and four will need strengthening work. Three buildings also require weathertightness repairs and one needs both.


Cost to fix school and strengthen it over 10 years: $8.9 million

Land status: Surrounding land is predominantly technical category 2.

The ministry's plan: Close

Rationale for change: The school is heavily infested with borer, and although rebuilding the school was one option, it was difficult to justify such an investment, given the surplus capacity for primary education in the area.

Read the ministry's rationale for change.

Principal: Matt Bateman said the situation could have been handled better if Education Minister Hekia Parata had consulted with schools first.

''We've just got on with trying to shack up a really positive proposal submission. It's debatable whether it will carry any weight, but we're pursuing it as if we've got a chance [to stay open].''

Their submission:

Burnside Primary is eyeing a collaboration with Cobham Intermediate, Hagley Community College and Kidsfirst Kindergartens in a bid to stave off closure.

The Memorial Ave school accepts that its buildings are outdated and ''to repair them for around $9 million would be unacceptable''.

Instead, it recommends that for ''probably less than $4.5m'' a school to initially accommodate about 300 pupils could be built.

Bell Geoconsulting has determined that Burnside's land is geotechnically safe and suitable for new buildings.

''At Burnside-Cobham there is the space, the strategic location and the justification - over 1000 students - for such a facility,'' the school says.

''With up to 80 as yet unoccupied state houses in the immediate area and the recent successful resettlement of the Aorangi students, not to mention the possible closure of Kendal School, it would be unthinkable to leave a gap in the network at this location.''

The new school would come complete with an integrated Kidsfirst kindergarten, sharing library, administration and staff facilities.

In addition, plans are afoot to join forces with Cobham Intermediate,  400 metres down the road, to create a learning hub.

Hagley Community College ''would welcome this perfectly located outpost for their language teaching to refugee groups'', Burnside submitted.

''We will become the only sustainable provider of bilingual education for priority learners in the northwest.''

The Press