Eight years since Redcliffs Primary School relocated to ‘temporary’ premises in neighbouring Sumner, the community is eagerly anticipating its return home.
Activities are now ramping up on the school’s new site with project team Naylor Love Canterbury moving in heavy machinery and beginning foundation work. Naylor Love Canterbury has supported the school throughout by communicating its vision and attending community evenings.
Redcliffs School principal Rose McInerney says that soon the challenges overcome since the earthquakes will become distant memories as the school moves into its purpose-built home, which will truly reflect the history and pride of its community.
“During our campaign to keep Redcliffs School open, we were struck by the strength of this community,” she says.
“It’s been important to the design team to incorporate much of what makes Redcliffs special. We involved the children and there were lots of amazing dreams about what they wanted – including a hydroslide into the sea – but in essence, they wanted a fantastic community school where they could best collaborate and learn.
“Everybody involved in this project, from architects to project managers, shares our vision. We worked closely with local iwi to ensure our school will embrace its surroundings and honour the turangawaewae of this special location looking out to the Ihutai (estuary).”
Although the last eight years have been difficult, Rose says the children have taken it all in their stride. “Our tamariki have learnt about determination, patience, fortitude, and resilience first-hand from their whanau, teachers and school community. What a delight it’s going to be to welcome them, and our whole community, into this wonderful new environment.”