Tears of joy at Burnside

Last updated 15:30 18/02/2013
Burnside Primary School
CLOSURE PROPOSED: The ministry has estimated it will cost about $8.9 million to repair Burnside Primary School.

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Staff at a Christchurch primary school saved from closure burst into tears of joy as they heard they would remain open.

Burnside Primary School was among 12 schools slated for closure or merger in the original Ministry of Education proposal, but have now been told they can remain open.

Burnside board of trustees chairwoman Tracy Williams said staff at the school were ''over the moon'' after having no idea whether they would be able to get a reprieve.

''It's taking a wee bit to sink in still...we went up and down, one morning you feel quite positive and the next you feel quite negative.''

Williams said there were ''a few big smiles going around'' at the school, as happiness replaced the initial shock of the news.

''We were just speechless, we didn't really say much, we just looked at each other and burst into tears.''

The school would spend some time reading the documentation that came with the ministry's decision, before formally accepting the offer.

The ministry's interim decision states the school was slated for closure because of the high cost of earthquake strengthening and repair, the surplus capacity in the local schools network and the lack of likely population growth.

However, it said further analysis showed there was an opportunity to create an education hub with Cobham Intermediate and later Burnside High School.

All three schools could work together, and some facilities be shared.

The ministry added it was possible to look at siting other services such as health on the Burnside site.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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