Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today.
The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process was halted by the incoming Coalition Government.
“I’m delighted that in two short years, Salisbury School has gone from facing closure to a confident future where students with learning challenges will continue to receive a quality education and learn essential life skills in a modern and safe environment,” Chris Hipkins said.
“Almost all of the school’s buildings are more than 50 years old and much of it over 90 years old.
“They are not inspiring environments for learning and living and they don’t meet our high standards for delivering education. This is particularly important at a residential special school where suitable facilities require very high specifications.
“This $8 million investment in new facilities at the existing site in Salisbury Rd guarantees the long-term future of the school,” Chris Hipkins said.
“Salisbury sits in an idyllic environment that its current buildings do not do justice, nor do they serve the needs of their contemporary students,” Tracey Martin said.
“The rebuild of Halswell in Christchurch shows what a fit for purpose school can look like.
“I’m thrilled that we have been able to secure this investment in these girls and their education.
The redevelopment, which is expected to begin in 2021, will see the demolition or removal of the existing residential and ancillary buildings, administration block and day school.
“These will be replaced with new residential units to cater for a roll of 20 high-needs students, a new administration block, a multi-purpose hall and dining facility and a kitchen. A new day school will also be built.
“The new build will also free up part of the 10ha site for other educational purposes,” Tracey Martin said.
The school was established in 1917 and is one of three residential special schools in New Zealand for students with highly complex behaviour and/or learning needs that impact their lives at home, school and in the community.
“Work is underway to further boost enrolments and ensure all young people who need it can benefit from these specialised learning environments,” Tracey Martin said.