The future layout of Ōmokoroa continues to firm up with a 2024 construction start date for two new schools confirmed.
Education Minister Jan Tinetti has announced works on a new primary school and secondary school are expected to kick off early 2024, with doors to be open for tamariki and rangatahi in 2025.
Ōmokoroa Primary School will initially provide 350 places for Year 1–6 students, with capacity to expand the roll to 550 students.
While Ōmokoroa Secondary School will initially provide 800 places for Year 7–13 students, with capacity to expand the roll to 1200 students.
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor James Denyer says the two schools, to be located on the corner of Prole Road and Ōmokoroa Road, are an integral part of the future of Ōmokoroa and its predicted population.
By 2050, the Ōmokoroa Peninsula will be fully developed and home to an estimated 13,000 residents. This will include the development of 2500 new homes in the
surrounding schooling area.
“Fit for purpose facilities such as these schools go hand in hand with supporting the Ōmokoroa community and accommodating its growth now and into the future,” says Mayor James.
“This announcement will provide the growing number of young families living in Ōmokoroa with school-age children the reassurance that they will soon have schooling options much closer to home.
“It will also take some pressure off our roads and State Highway with many families currently needing to take their tamariki and rangatahi to schools outside the area.”
The 2024 start date closely follows Council getting underway on a $23.5 million roading upgrade of Prole Road.
The $23.5m project is central to unlocking the development of the two schools and 2500 homes planned, transforming Prole Road from a rural road to one fit for a future as a busy urban environment.
It includes the reconstruction of 1.7km of road, from Ōmokoroa Road to Waipapa River, new shared walking/cycling paths on both sides of the road, on-road cycle lanes for experienced cyclists, safe pedestrian crossings, and a dual-lane roundabout at the intersection of Prole and Ōmokoroa roads.
The future schools are part of wider changes that will see Ōmokoroa look a little different in the next decade.
This will include JACE Investments Ltd’s $75 million privately-funded new town centre, new residential areas for around 2300 homes, more industrial zones for local businesses and employment, a new large reserve for active sports across the road from the new schools, and a Natural Open Space Zone to protect the extensive gully network and retain it for stormwater management and walkways and cycleways.
Related: Making progress in tough times