Progress on the project to co-locate Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges, and to relocate Bohally Intermediate School, is gathering pace following the release of master plans for Te Tātoru o Wairau.
The intermediate school will move to a new campus at College Park to make way for the colleges to co-locate on the existing Marlborough Girls’ College and Bohally properties on Blenheim’s McLauchlan Street.
Ministry of Education’s Hautū (Leader) – Te Mahau, Nancy Bell, said the three schools, local iwi, construction consortium Te Tumu, and the Ministry’s Education and Property teams, had collaborated for more than a year to develop the master plans, which form a blueprint for the future construction and operation of the schools.
“Te Tātoru o Wairau is one of the most complex construction projects the Ministry has led, and it represents a significant investment in renewing and enhancing educational outcomes and the associated infrastructure, in the Marlborough region,” Nancy Bell said.
“Working together with the schools, local iwi and construction supply chain we have developed a robust and sustainable plan to deliver new education facilities that meet the long-term educational needs for Year 7-13 students in Blenheim.”
The construction programme for the new schools will be divided into stages to enable teaching and learning at the schools to be maintained with minimal disruption.
“The need to ensure that teaching and learning can continue as normal throughout construction has been a key driver for the staging process,” Nancy Bell said.
The first phase will begin later this year with Marlborough District Council’s construction of an artificial hockey turf at the site of the co-located colleges, which will make way for construction of the new intermediate school campus at College Park.
The Ministry of Education’s Project Director for Te Tātoru o Wairau, Simon Trotter, said that following completion of the turf, sections of the co-located colleges’ campus will be built in a staged programme of works that is expected to take approximately six years to complete. The colleges will transition into the new buildings as they become available over this time.
“This approach to phasing has also considered the capacity of the local construction industry and will enable greater use of local suppliers and contractors throughout the programme,” Simon Trotter, said.
Construction of the schools will begin with the new intermediate campus at College Park, and the first half of the co-located colleges’ campus. Bohally will relocate to College Park once the intermediate campus has been completed, and Marlborough Girls’ College will move across to finished co-located spaces at the end of this phase.
Once the girls’ college has moved from its existing buildings, construction will begin on the third phase to complete the co-located campus. Marlborough Boys’ College will relocate to the co-located campus at the end of this phase.
Some existing Bohally buildings, such as the school’s hall, have been repurposed on the colleges’ master plan. The Marlborough Technology Centre will remain at its current location.
The colleges have already been working closely together to align common systems such as timetables and student management systems and are planning how they will teach side-by-side on the new campus.
The designs of the master plans reflect the cultural narrative Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, which was gifted to Te Tātoru o Wairau last year by local iwi Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Kuia and Rangitāne o Wairau.
“It has been great to work with the project team and schools to ensure Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho is embedded in the master plan to create campuses to enhance the learning of all students at the three kura,” said Johnny Joseph (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Rārua) – a Marlborough Boys’ College old boy.
“The release of the master plan reconfirms the commitment of the Crown and iwi as partners in Te Tātoru o Wairau to deliver education in Wairau to support the growth of the region and its people,” said Dr Peter Meihana (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne o Wairau) – also a Marlborough Boys’ College old boy.
The planned colleges’ campus is centred along Fulton Stream, with sports fields on the northern and southern boundaries. Most of the buildings on the campus are planned to be two storeys, which will allow for future roll growth and adequate outdoor spaces.
The colleges will both be arranged into Akomanga ako – Learning Hubs, that are designed to provide improved pastoral care, identity and connection for students alongside their learning.
An Ako Kaiaka/Specialised Learning block in the centre of the campus will serve both colleges, overlooking a communal courtyard. This will house Technology, Science, Visual Arts and a shared Pātaka Kōrero – Library.
Sports facilities will include a gymnasium that can accommodate three main courts and can be opened into a large combined space, together with the new artificial turf.
Bohally Intermediate’s master plan shows the school’s buildings intentionally arranged to make the most of existing green space at College Park. An additional accessway onto Redwood Street will be created to allow for better pedestrian access to the school.
With the master plans in place, conceptual and detailed designs of the new schools are now being developed before construction begins and will be shared with the community later this year.