On the first day of school, Te Anau School Year 1 teacher Dawn Hansen helps students Isla Excell (left) and Miley Alber get acquainted with the new classroom. PHOTO: Claire Kaplan
Te Anau School kicked off the start of the new year on Tuesday with the addition of two new classrooms aimed to relieve pressure from a rapidly rising school roll.
The open plan classrooms, constructed over the summer holiday, came fitted with air conditioning, good acoustics and spacious lighting. While there were other open plan classrooms in use, principal Grant Excell said the model used in Te Anau was the first to be built in rural Southland.
Mr Excell said the school's library could now go back to being a library after the school had been using it as a temporary classroom to cope with a rising school roll.
The year started off with a population of 232, and Mr Excell said they anticipated the year to end with approximately 275 students. By all estimates their official July roll would likely be the largest in the school's history, and they expected all classrooms to be full by the end of the year.
As part of the school's expansion, the next step would be to replace the school hall. More classrooms further down the line were not out of the question either, he said.
"Who knows what 2019 is going to bring," he said.