New high school plans out for tender
Preliminary design plans for Rototuna's new junior and senior high school have been signed off by the school's establishment board and are out for tender.
The possibility of a community sport centre as part of the senior high is also being discussed.
Education Minister Hekia Parata revealed details on the the long-awaited secondary school in March and the first artist's impressions of a proposed central plaza are available.
The school will be a two-stage building project beginning with the year 7-10 junior high school. A year 11-13 senior high school will follow.
They will share a site between the proposed expressway and West Park Road, off Borman Road.
The preliminary design had been developed between the establishment board, the Ministry of Education and ASC architects in Auckland, establishment board chairwoman Megan Campbell said.
"The board has signed off on the preliminary design of the school. That means that we have moved into the tender process," she said.
"It also more importantly means we're completely on track for building to start at the very end of this year or the beginning of next year, so it's ready for 2016."
"It is going to be a beautiful building, but most importantly when we get into the next stage of appointing a principal and staff, that's the stuff that really matters, I think," Campbell said
Developing the vision for learning was a current focus for the establishment board and there was a greater opportunity with "a brand new school," she said.
Rototuna Junior High School would offer a modern learning environment, the Ministry of Education's education infrastructure service manager Kim Shannon said.
"Many modern learning environment designs have open, light and airy learning spaces. Spaces are not dedicated to one activity, but can be changed to suit teaching programmes.
"Whole walls can move, and glass sections can slide to open up areas."
Once the proposal for Rototuna Senior High School is approved, construction is planned to begin in 2015 and completed for the 2017 school year.
A community sport complex could be part of the senior high development. It is being discussed by Hamilton City Council and the Ministry of Education.
No decisions had been made yet, council acting general manager for community services Helen Paki said.
A partnership would have an "obvious advantage" of delivering services and facilities to the community, she said.
"There are also potential efficiencies to be gained, including financial savings. Organisations entering this sort of partnership arrangement often have shared objectives which can be met through collaboration."
A recent Sport Waikato Waikato Regional Sports Facilities Plan examined facility partnership models, but there had been no consultation with the community on options for Rototuna, Paki said.
If a complex became part of the council's 10-Year Plan process, residents willbe asked for feedback.
Approved enrolment home zones were also provided by the ministry.
The majority of the year 7-8 zone falls between the bounds of the Waikato River, Wairere Drive, Gordonton Rd and Kay Rd.
The year 9-13 zone has more twists and turns, but stretches from Pukete Bridge on Wairere Drive to the intersection of Piako and Waverley Rds in the east, to Woodward Rd in the north.
In the west it takes a line from Lake and Sullivan Rds to the river, then follows back to Pukete Bridge.