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WaiCol gets $9m boost

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$19m in government funding over past two years to upgrade school

Wairarapa College has been given a $9 million funding boost from the government.

The funding, announced yesterday by Education Minister Chris Hipkins, will go towards upgrading school facilities.

In June 2017, under the National government, WaiCol was given a $10 million grant to help upgrade and strengthen the school’s buildings.

Principal Shelley Power said the school was pleased to get the additional funding as it gave the college certainty in moving forward.

Hipkins said time had “not been kind” to some WaiCol buildings.

“It’s important that WaiCol students have a warm, comfortable place to learn.”

Recently completed work included rebuilding changing rooms and a teaching area, and seismic strengthening of the school’s gymnasium.

“We’ve also replaced boilers with more modern and efficient gas boilers.

“As work progressed however, it became apparent that buildings were in a worse condition, so more investment was needed. “Today, we’re delivering that investment.”

He said the government was committed to “doing things right the first time”.

“A make-do attitude may be cheaper in the short-term but it costs more in the long run.

“The extra funds at WaiCol will help get the job done properly so learners can enjoy warm, comfortable classrooms.”

The $9 million will be used to replace the school’s supported learning centre, replace old classrooms, and modernise others.

The school’s site infrastructure will be upgraded, and a new bus bay created.

Labour List MP in Wairarapa Kieran McAnulty said he was “delighted” the government  had listened to the needs of Wairarapa College.

“The government has delivered the investment required to get the buildings to a standard needed to deliver a modern education environment and at the same time factor in future growth.

“For too long, Wairarapa was overlooked by government.

“I’m delighted we’re able to add today’s [Mondays’] announcement to the growing list of government investments we are seeing in our region.”

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