The Minister of Education, Hon Chris Hipkins, has today announced that the Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges will be co-located and rebuilt on the MacLaughlan Street site currently occupied by Marlborough Girls’ College and Bohally Intermediate.
Design and planning for the new schools is expected to begin in the new year, and brings an additional bonus to the Marlborough community, in that Bohally will be relocated and rebuilt on the existing Boys’ College site.
It has been great to be able to share in the growing energy and excitement in our schools and across the wider community around the opportunities and enormous potential that co-location and our complete rebuild will offer.
We’re pleased that a site has now been confirmed for the colleges, and can now move forward with our preparation for the co-location while ensuring we continue to support current and incoming students on the colleges’ existing sites.
The confirmed site for co-location is closer to the town centre and other community amenities than any of the potential greenfield sites that we understand were located on more rural fringes of the town. This option also makes use of the Taylor River Reserve to encourage cycling and walking to and from school, and with easy access to the CBD.
The delay to secure a site for the co-located campus provided both colleges with valuable time for staff to see how other schools are adapting to meet the learning needs of students, and to access extensive professional development.
Our staff have had the time to review the effectiveness of how and what they teach, and we’ve adapted teaching practices and curriculum offerings to better support learning at the schools.
The Ministry of Education also supported both colleges to modify classrooms to enable staff to teach in more flexible learning spaces this year, and we’re encouraged that the new spaces are in high demand – both students and teachers are getting a lot of benefit from them.
If this recent work is an example of how building works can be delivered, then we are confident any construction on the existing school sites will be planned, phased and staged in a way that will minimise disruption for students’ learning and the ongoing daily operation of the colleges.
The colleges developed an Education Brief in 2017 through community, staff and student consultation, which outlines the aspirations and priorities for this project. It will serve as the blueprint for the next phase that will develop this vision into the design of the campus.