Queenstown’s newest primary school will more than double in size this year and has taken on six new teachers.
Shotover Primary School opened last year with 88 pupils in years 1 to 4.
This year, as the area bursts at the seams, the roll will increase to 220 with the addition of children up to year 8.
To cater for the growth, three large spaces known as “habitats” – equivalent to 12 traditional classrooms – have also been built, giving the school a maximum capacity of 450 pupils.
Principal Ben Witheford says the school has a master plan that, with extra resources, allows the capacity expand to 650 and eventually 850.
“We believe the growth will occur and those stages will be needed, but nobody knows what the rate of growth will be.”
Figures from Arrowtown Primary, Queenstown Primary and Remarkables Primary show, despite the introduction and expansion of Shotover, there has been no dramatic drop in roll numbers.
The rolls of Remarkables and Arrowtown schools continue to climb, while the roll at Queenstown Primary remains steady.
Arrowtown Primary School principal Chris Bryant says his school hasn’t been affected by Shotover’s expansion and growth was continuing as normal.
Ministry of Education’s Katrina Casey says the Queenstown Lakes district is one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
The ministry’s Wakatipu area strategy plan, that committed to managing growth in schools from 2009, has reached its final stages with the opening of Shotover Primary and the upcoming relocation of Wakatipu High School.
Casey says conversations are ongoing throughout the year with all schools in the area.