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Full house forces expansion

New staff at Kuranui College in 2021 [L-R]: Wayne Longstaff, James Milford, Olivia Hall, Bridget Percy, Stephen Isaac, Elizabeth Verkleij, Oliver Greening, Amy Johnson, Petar Grgec, and Pania Smith. PHOTOS/CATHERINE ROSSITER-STEAD

Kuranui College has begun construction on six new temporary classrooms after a 20 per cent increase to its school roll.

The temporary classrooms would help to accommodate the 120 additional students welcomed to the school at the start of the year. Kuranui College had reached its capacity of 560 students in 2020.

“We’re definitely struggling for space, but it’s a good problem to have,” principal Simon Fuller said.

Construction is under way on six temporary classrooms at Kuranui College.

Lower Hutt construction company AdBuild would build six modular buildings at Kuranui College this year, with another four planned for next year.

AdBuild had worked on previous Ministry of Education projects, including six modular buildings completed at Wellington Girls’ College in October 2020.

All modular buildings were built in factories, meaning there would be minimum disruption within schools. Decks, ramps, and stairs could be added to the buildings onsite.

The temporary classrooms at Kuranui College would remain for up to five years while the ministry planned a permanent block.

Fuller attributed the growth of the school to an influx of people moving into South Wairarapa and fewer students travelling north to Masterton schools.

Fuller said that the growth of the school came with a new set of challenges.

“It’s important that we don’t lose our distinctive culture as we grow,” he said.

The increase to the school roll also meant that more teachers were required. Although the school lost four teachers at the end of last year to retirement or promotion, 16 new teachers had come onboard this year – 13 full time and three part-time.

Among the new staff were four English teachers, four Social Science teachers, and two technology teachers. Many of the teachers would teach more than one subject, such as Pania Smith, who taught Social Science, Te Ao Maori, and Maori Performing Arts.

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