A Ministry of Education report on the future needs of schools in the Mahurangi area is proposing a major rebuild of Matakana Primary, but school leaders say it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Seventy-five per cent of the school has been identified as having varying degrees of weather-tightness issues.
The Ministry has advised that Blocks 2, 9, 10 and 11 – the equivalent of 10 teaching spaces – are likely to need a complete rebuild.
Due to the large scale of the project, it is likely to take three years to complete.
How this will be staged to cause as least disruption to students as possible is still under discussion.
Board of Trustees chair Craig Dawson says talks with ministry representatives are in the very preliminary stages.
“We are still some way off in knowing how it will roll out,” he says.
And while the school does not have any pressing demands in terms of capacity, the ministry has conceded it would be prudent to consider future growth as part of the rebuild.
The school currently has 340 students enrolled and expects to finish this year with an enrolment of 360.
Principal Darrel Goosen says the school’s capacity is 396.
“There is nothing to indicate that the residential developments planned and underway in Matakana or the forecasts in Auckland’s Unitary Plan will strain the school’s capacity in the immediate future,” he says.
“We haven’t remotely thought as far ahead as to what any new teaching spaces might look like.”
According to the ministry report, the Board has identified a significant constraining feature of the school site is its entrance onto Matakana Road, which has a growing traffic count.
There is an opportunity to acquire a neighbouring block of land known as Campbell’s paddock which would allow for a reconfiguration of a safer entrance and exit from the school and orientation away from the main road.
However, Mr Dawson says that while this would meet a number of community aspirations, as well as serving the school, no decision had yet been made.
“For us, it’s all about the safety of the children. The landowner is supportive and we’re certainly interested, but we are still in discussion with Auckland Transport.”