Redcliffs school to relocate to nearby park

Redcliffs School in Christchurch will relocate to a nearby park (Newshub)
Redcliffs School in Christchurch will relocate to a nearby park (Newshub)

After more than five years in the dark, Christchurch's Redcliffs School now has a future to look forward to.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced on Tuesday that the school will not remain at its current site but the school will be relocated in the Redcliffs area.

"After considering all the analysis, I have come to the decision that moving the school away from the current site under the cliffs is the best option for the future of Redcliffs School," she says.

"Every option has been carefully considered, including remaining at the Main Road site. Relocating the school to the nearby Redcliffs Park will benefit not only the current school community, but future students, staff and the whole Redcliffs community." 

The school was closed in 2011 following the earthquakes and relocated to a temporary site, but the community were desperate to return home to the heart of Redcliffs.

Speaking from the steps of Parliament after meeting with Ms Parata, Principal Rose McInerney is happy with the end result.

"We're really thrilled its been a really long process and we've put a huge amount of work into making sure our school was returned to its community," she says.

"It's so great to be able to plan for an exciting future."

Board Chair Mark Robberds says it was very important that the school remained in the Redcliffs area.

"It's huge, one of the things that have been really important for us is to have a school back in that community," he says.

"So although we did express a preference to go back to our original site, our overarching goal has always been to have a school in the community."

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says today's announcement was a good result.

"Redcliffs School and the local community have been tireless in their efforts to ensure their school community is kept together. They never gave up in their bid to prove the case for a local school and they should feel today's decision is just reward for their efforts," she says.

"While members of the community might have preferred the school to remain at its original site, relocating the school to a new location in Redcliffs is still a good result as it has the advantage of not requiring rockfall mitigation measures.  The community now has certainty about the school's future, which will ultimately have a positive impact on the entire community's well-being."

The new school is expected to be opened in 2019.