Hamilton’s giddy growth rate has forced the building of another new school in the burgeoning northeast of the city.
The new school will chalk up a tally of four new schools built in four years when the latest one opens in 2019.
The most recent announcement was a new primary school in Sylvester, the suburb just north of Flagstaff, to keep up with the booming population.
But there could be more for the zone because the Catholic community has high hopes for a Rototuna site and an existing Christian school is looking to shed its private status.
And the northeastern suburbs keep on growing – they added about 2600 residents between 2011 and 2015, according to Statistics NZ information.
By the time tots in the Sylvester zone are ready for the yet-to-be-named school, they should have a brand new one just down the road.
The idea of a school in the area isn’t new and was confirmed by Education Minister Hekia Parata in a Budget 2016 announcement.
Since then, it has been decided the school will cater for kids in Year 1 to 6 at a site on the corner of Borman Road and Hare Puke Drive.
Nearby resident Darryl Smith sees it as a great idea, though his daughter’s already at Rototuna Junior High School.
“If our daughter was a few years younger we probably would have sent her to the school,” he said.
“A few people have said they’d be quite happy for [the school] to come, it’d be quite close to home.”
A reserve was planned near the site so retired resident Neville Walker saw it as a good school ground.
“It’s going to be a bonus for everyone here, a new school. What it’s going to do is push the property values up.”
The school will eventually take about 700 pupils, Ministry of Education spokesman Steve Stuart said.
“This school will serve a real need in the community when it opens and we don’t expect it to adversely affect the neighbouring schools,” he said in a statement.
Consultation with the community and other local schools will start in August.
Nearby Endeavour School will have an enrolment zone change and other changes should be discussed in the consultation, Stuart said.
Community members can also apply to help shape the school by being on the establishment board of trustees.
The school will be the latest in a line of new additions for northeast Hamilton, which began with Flagstaff’s Endeavour School.
Since then, Rototuna Junior High has opened – with a roll of more than 600 – and construction has continued on Rototuna Senior High.
And there could be more to come after 2019.
* Residential sections sales skyrocket in Hamilton’s northeast
* Hamilton grows by a street each week
* Major changes in annual plan to tackle city growth set
* Ministry declines Rototuna Catholic school
The Catholic Hamilton Diocese has its sights set on a Rototuna primary school and owns land between Resolution Drive and Borman Road.
Past plans to build a 400-pupil school have been turned down by the Ministry of Education but the diocese’s schools manager Graeme Roil said they haven’t given up.
“We strongly believe that we will be able to do a new school in there at some point. It’s just a question of timing,” he said.
“We’re delivering to a demand that’s there so – without being able to grow our existing schools on their sites, because they’re at capacity – then the only way we can relieve some of that demand is to actually open a new school.”
And there’s already a faith-based school in Rototuna looking to change its status.
Hamilton Christian School is a private Year 1 to 13 school, a stone’s thrown from Rototuna Junior and Senior High Schools.
A past application to become a state integrated school was declined by the ministry, but the school will re-apply for consideration in 2018.
New schools in the northeast of Hamilton
Endeavour School, Flagstaff – opened 2015 – space for 400 pupils, plus 200 more after second stage of construction