Hornby High ditches 43-year-old prefabs for multi-million dollar rebuild

HAPPY DAYS: Hornby High School Principal Robin Sutton stands in front of their new school buildings set to be blessed this Friday. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

When Hornby High School students return from their winter holidays, they will be moving into brand new classes.

Equipment will be moved into the new buildings from tomorrow and continue through the school holidays. The school will be closed for the remainder of the week while equipment is moved in. It is currently in the process of an “unprecedented” change, replacing ageing facilities, principal Robin Sutton said. The new buildings will be blessed by Te Taumutu Runanga on Friday and students will move in on July 23.

Some of the facilities that are being replaced include prefabs built 43 years ago, Mr Sutton said.

“Other schools have of course had new facilities built in the past few years, but we are the first secondary school to have a whole school redevelopment.”

Stage one of the rebuild included classrooms for “specialist learning” spaces.

“There will be classes for sciences, food technology, hard materials classes, visual arts and digital technology,” Mr Sutton said. “It also houses our hauora wellness areas, library, a cafe and staff area.”

A new gymnasium will also be opened next month. The facilities are divided into two buildings.

“Visually it will appear as one building but they are connected by laneways,” Mr Sutton said.

When the full rebuild is complete at the end of next year, the school will be able to cater for 100 more students in addition to the current roll of 700.

But the school master plan included space for future expansion of up to 1200 students to cater for population growth, Mr Sutton said. “Three more buildings will be added in stage two and we’ve master planned to have space for two more buildings.”

Ministry of Education head of education infrastructure Kim Shannon said the $26 million Hornby High School rebuild is part of the $1.137 billion Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme, which will rebuild or renew 115 schools by 2022.

“The CSR programme was developed following the assessment of over 200 schools in Canterbury over two years for earthquake strengthening needs, weather tightness, modernisation and what new infrastructure is required.”

Temporary prefabs will be used for classrooms until stage two is complete.

An official opening ceremony with special dignitaries will be held on August 3.

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods is scheduled to attend both ceremonies.