Rebuild starts at Ashburton Intermediate

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Fencing is up and the first stage of a big rebuild project at Ashburton Intermediate School has started at last.

Thirteen teaching spaces are set to be replaced, including classroom and technology spaces, and there will be strengthening work on stairwells in the two-storey block.

The work is scheduled to take 600 days and $6 million was allocated for the project when funding was announced in February 2018.

Intermediate School principal Brent Gray said the project was exciting for the school and also overdue.

He said temporary prefabs had been set up at the school in 1974 when it had first opened.

Those prefabs were still there nearly 50 years later, but were going and wouldn’t be missed.

The first stage in the rebuild is the demolition of Block 7, which was a school meeting room, and formerly the staff room at the Ashburton High School, which formerly occupied the site.

Fencing had gone up in that area and around the basketball courts on the Grey and Cass streets corner of the school site.

A new building featuring eight teaching areas will be built.

Mr Gray said a new technology block would follow.

That block would replace prefab rooms currently used for hard materials, fabrics, food, science and art and would feature a shared space in the middle.

He said earthquake work on the stairs in the two story block was included in the project.

It was hoped to replace the building itself some time in the future.

“We can’t improve the use of the block as it stands, but we can upgrade things within it.”

Mr Gray said the Intermediate School project and a rebuild at Allenton School were both being managed by the Logic Group on behalf of the Ministry of Education and staged phases aimed to minimise disruption.

The buildings at Intermediate School will form a U shape when work is completed and new courts are likely to be added at a later date.

The school has a roll of 420 at present, a maximum of 450 and a new enrolment zone scheme that is effective from Term 1 next year.

-By Mick Jensen