A new Catholic primary school for the Bay of Plenty

new catholic primary school

Pāpāmoa is going to get new multi-million dollar Catholic primary school.

The Suzanne Aubert Catholic School is expected to open at the beginning of Term 1, 2021.

The news was confirmed by the Ministry of Education last Thursday.

The school, owned by the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, is expected to start with a maximum roll of 100.

Depending on demand, it is expected to eventually expand to a maximum roll of 250 students.

Pāpāmoa is one of the fastest-growing areas in New Zealand. Between 2006 and 2013 the population increased by 26.5 per cent.

Graeme Roil, the Catholic Integrated Schools Office property and finance manager, said the Government go-ahead was “a significant milestone”.

Roil first began scouting locations for the school 10 years ago, eventually buying the land at Pāpāmoa five years ago.

He said the church had been working on plans for the school while waiting for the Government’s agreement.

It would now work with builders and the project management team to establish the different stages of construction.

Until these plans were finalised, Roil could not say how much the school would cost other than “it will be a multi-million dollar project”.

Last December the New Zealand Herald reported that the Pāpāmoa community was welcoming the idea of having another school.

Pāpāmoa ward councillor Steve Morris said there was a “significant need” for another primary school in the area.

Morris said there was no doubt the new school would have community support, particularly given the amount of travel involved each week by students and parents.

Pāpāmoa Primary School principal Phil Friar said: “We have seen enormous property development in Pāpāmoa and I see having another school as a positive to help manage the extraordinary roll growth in this area,”

Golden Sands School principal Melanie Taylor said a new school would give parents another option which was “a good thing”.

Aquinas College principal Matt Dillon said the college’s community welcomed the move.


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