Unlimited to move to uni campus

Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti will move to Canterbury University's Dovedale campus next year.

The high school, where pupils set their own learning agenda, was based in the central city until the February 2011 earthquake forced its rented Cashel St premises to be demolished.

The move is temporary for the school, which hopes to be back in the central city by 2015, merged with Discovery 1.

The Education Ministry proposed the merger under a raft of changes that could see 13 schools close and 26 put through some form of merger.

Unlimited board of trustees chairman Matthew Ayton said the board had agreed in principle to the merger and was working through the consultation period with staff, pupils and families. The consultation period will end on December 7.

The two schools would then begin the search for a central-city site.

''We have to wait until the merger is OKed by [Education Minister Hekia Parata] before we can approach people about city-centre sites,'' Ayton said.

For almost two years Unlimited and Discovery pupils have been based in relocatable classrooms at Halswell Residential College's grounds.

Unlimited will move in January to the university's Teachers' College site in Parkstone Ave, Ilam. Discovery will remain in Halswell.

Ayton said the school would transfer the prefab buildings from the Halswell site to the university and would bring in additional relocatable classrooms by the second term.

''It's not quite in the city, but it will be a change from the isolation of Halswell. We are really looking forward to it,'' he said.

Unlimited has a roll of about 350 pupils and employs almost 30 fulltime-equivalent staff.

The school has strong ties with the university, with some pupils enrolled on a degree-level philosophy course.

The Press