WBHS keen to build new hostel

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A brand new $4 million hostel is in the pipeline for Waitaki Boys’ High School.

The school is working through a proposal that involves Don House Hostel being demolished and replaced with a new state-of-the art, 100 per cent earthquake-proof hostel.

While the project is only in early stages, Waitaki Boys’ High School rector Paul Jackson said it was something the school wanted to do.

“We would love to see the current hostel get destroyed and replaced with a brand new hostel,” he said.

Mr Jackson said he felt the project was an important way for WBHS to keep up with top schools in the country.

“We need to build a brand new hostel if we want to compete with the best and we feel it will help us best attract pupils from outside the area to the school.”

The proposal would see the new hostel built at the back of the school where the current laundry, kitchen and dining area are, and where the car park is located. The current hostel would be replaced with a hockey turf or other sporting facility.

The Don House was built in 1964 and Mr Jackson said it made sense to build a new one.

“I’d love to see them decide that a new hostel is the way to go rather than renovating the current one. It’s what we need to do to help promote the school.” he said.

Despite it being in the proposal phase, Mr Jackson remains confident they could get the hostel well under way by 2016.

“The sooner the better really, because the longer we leave it, the more the cost will rise.”

He said a new hostel would provide jobs and help bring funds into the community.

Board of Trustees chairman Garry McLeod said a new hostel would be a good thing for the school.

“It will hopefully help bring more boarders back to the school, but also help increase the school’s roll.”

He said the school needed a new hostel to keep up with other schools around the country which were being proactive in trying to attract boarders.

The hostel would be constructed from the same type of stone which decorates the front of Waitaki Boys’ High School.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

NEW BUILDING: Waitaki Boys’ High School rector Paul Jackson looks over the proposals for a new school hostel.