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Quake-hit Redcliffs School to move

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/11/2016

Christchurch's Redcliffs School will be moved from beneath the cliffs that gave it its name to a safer site at nearby Redcliffs Park.

The new site will be larger and means the "negative psychosocial impacts" on students and staff can be avoided, Education Minister Hekia Parata says.

"Every option has been carefully considered, including remaining at the Main Road site," she said.

"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."

Ms Parata said she hoped everyone in Redcliff would be "very happy that they will be getting a brand new school" and she didn't expect opposition to her decision.

"I don't expect push back, I think people will want to get on designing the school, being involved in it, and discussing what they want for their children."

The future of the primary school, which has a roll of about 250, had hung in the balance since the deadly 2011 Christchurch earthquake, when it was forced to move to a temporary site in Sumner.

Ms Parata earlier this year reversed her interim decision to close the school permanently over quake safety concerns.

A study identified the park, which is owned by the Christchurch City Council and a few hundred metres north of the existing school, as the most suitable location.

The Ministry of Education would work with the school's board about talking to the community about the move to the new school, Ms Parata said.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel says that while members of the community might have preferred the school to remain at its original site, it is still a good result as rockfall mitigation measures are not required.

"The community now has certainty about the school's future, which will ultimately have a positive impact on the entire community's well-being," she said.

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