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In the greatest expansion of secondary school accommodation ever undertaken in the Auckland province, the Auckland Education Board has in hand to-day building schemes estimated to cost a quarter of a million pounds. Some of the projects are at the point of completion, while others are in various stages of progress. ( Further heavy expenditure is ahead as planning of other schemes is being pushed on, and it appears that for years to come the board will be going "all out" in an effort to catch up with the demand. Some schools have shown remarkable growth, and everywhere the effects of bringing in the 15-year-olds, coupled with the eagerness of parents to give their children the best possible start in life, have been felt as a form of acute growing pains.

Most important of the present year's schemes are: the Epsom Girls' Grammar School (first project), estimated to cost £48,000; the Otahuhu Technical High School, probable expenditure, around £55,000; Tauranga District High School. £26,000; Te Puke District High School, £10,000; Cambridge District High School, £6500; Ngatea District High School, £3800; Matamata High and Intermediate School, £13,290; Putaruru District High School, £12,350; Warkworth District High School, £21,000; Kaitaia District High School, about £16,000; Rawene District High School, £14,000. Tauranga and Te Puke Tauranga's fine new district high school is on a 10-acre site at the junction of Cameron Street and Roberts Street, which is the meeting point for traffic from Auckland, Whakatane and Rotorua. It is about a mile from the old school, and is a two-storey building with 10 classrooms, a laboratory, library and administrative rooms. Accommodation is provided for over 300 scholars. It is possible that the school may be raised to the full status of a high school. Construction work has been completed, and the official opening is being arranged. One of the attractions of the school surroundings will be a number of large trees, including oaks and redwoods, which have been preserved in developing the area. Additional space for playing fields, to supplement that on which the school is built, will be available in a native reserve nearby. Of wooden construction, with tiled roof, the school is a fine illustration of modern design, to afford the maximum of sunlight.

Te Puke's Increased needs are being met by a building of four classrooms and a laboratory on a separate site adjacent to the domain, previously owned by the agricultural association. This block, like that at Tauranga, is ready to be officially opened as soon as the ceremony is arranged. Accommodation is provided for 150. Probably the two districts will hold their celebrations at the same time. Since the building was completed it has been necessary for the Education Board to apply for authority to erect a further room to meet Te Puke's expanding needs.

At Cambridge the additions lately completed accommodate 170. They were planned to take care of expansion in the secondary department of the district high school and also to house Forms I. and 11., thus relieving the congestion in the primary school, but so rapid has been the growth in the secondary branch that it has been found possible to provide for only Form 11. There are four new classrooms.

Ngatea's needs are being met by one additional classroom and a laboratory, almost completed, while additional classrooms made necesat Matamata the scheme is for six sary by the school's sudden expansion. At Putaruru work is being started on three new classrooms and a laboratory for a new secondary department. North Auckland's Needs In North Auckland the major scheme is at Warkworth, where the old district high school is being superseded by a new and larger school on a site about half a mile from the town on the Wellsford highway. As the site is near a reserve which will be available for playing purposes, the limitations of the area should not be a handicap to the school. Eight classrooms, a library, a laboratory and administrative rooms are included in the block, which has accommodation for nearly 300. The scheme is completed except for linking up the drainage system with that of the town, and the school should be in use next term.

The new secondary department at Kaitaia, on a separate site, will contain six classrooms, a laboratory, library, domestic science and woodwork rooms. A contract has been let, and the school should be completed before next winter.

The Rawene district high school is being replaced by a building of four classrooms and a laboratory, on a new site, work having been recently commenced. Otahuhu and Girls' Grammar Among projects near Auckland, the enlargement of the Otahuhu Technical School ranks next in importance to the Epsom Girls' Grammar School. The main work is i the construction of a well-conceived I workshop block, with provision for instruction in a diversity of crafts including both wood and metal, the estimated cost of the building being just over £30,000. Besides this, six temporary classrooms are being provided to accommodate over 200 children, and temporary quarters will be made available for instruction in domestic science and various crafts. A recreation hall is another part of the comprehensive scheme. As the school, with its roll of 1200, has been seriously overcrowded this year, the extra provision will be barely sufficient to meet present needs, and further accommodation will have to be planned for next year.

Rebuilding of the Epsom Girls' Grammar School is to be carried out under three projects, of which the first, to cost £48,000, is now in progress, and in the present scheme are included 11 rooms, of which three will be laboratories, two will be for social studies (geography and history), one will be a studio and one a music room, while the remaining four will be ordinary classrooms It is expected this work will be finished early next year. The second project, to be undertaken at the beginning of next year, will comprise an assembly hall to accommodate 1200, library, administrative and staff rooms, and auxiliary space. The third and final project, which is probably ten years ahead, will provide for the replacement of all the old wooden buildings. The buildings are designed to make three sides of a rectangle.

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Bibliographic details

BIG PROJECTS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

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BIG PROJECTS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

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