Boarding hostels booked years ahead
'Parents are happy'AUDREY MALONE
Boarding hostels in South Canterbury are packed to the rafters for next year.
Timaru Boys' High School's boarding hostel, Thomas House, has 37 enrolments for 25 to 30 places. Director of boarding Ross Smith put that down to supportive parents.
"The parents are happy with what we are doing. Their word of mouth out there is wonderful."
He said the demand for Thomas House was proven by the 24 enrolments already received for 2018.
"People are enrolling here well in advance," he said.
It was a nice position to be in, and he would be conducting interviews with prospective boarders over the next month. Thomas House was in the initial stages of planning to build a new block, Smith said.
The plan was not to extend the accommodation space, but to ensure quality, he said.
Craighead Diocesan principal Lindy Graham said the school's boarding facilities also had a waiting list, but that was always the case.
"We always have quite strong demand here," Graham said.
Commenting on the spike in demand in the coming years, she said it could be due to the 2006 snowstorm.
"There were a couple of bad snow years and we are expecting a bulge," Graham said.
Timaru Girls' High School principal Sarah Davis said enrolments had not closed at the school yet, but figures were up on last year.
"What is interesting is two or three years down the line we already have enrolments, which is unusual for a state school," she said.
She had heard comments about the 2006 snowstorm being the cause of the upsurge in future enrolments.
"That might be true, but South Canterbury has also benefited because of the earthquakes, Oceania Dairy [opening], and the increase in primary industries all leading to a population increase."
Waihi Preparatory School principal Allan Short confirmed the school also had positive figures.
"We have a waiting list for this year and we predict it is going to be the same for next year."
- The Timaru Herald