New Catholic school on the cards for Rototuna

Rototuna Catholics are praying for a second chance to build a new school in Rototuna after previously being denied.

All five of Hamilton's Catholic primary schools are full.  

The Hamilton Diocese has applied to the Ministry of Education to construct a new state-integrated primary school on a 3-hectare block the church owns between Resolution Dr and Borman Rd.

The diocese would provide the land and contribute at least 15 per cent of the building cost.

The diocese was turned down in 2015, despite a waiting list of hundreds of children.

At the time, the ministry said the school wasn't needed and its priorities were Endeavour Primary School and the Rototuna high schools.
Graeme Roil, school manager for the Hamilton diocese, said if approved, there would be room for 400 pupils and 60 to 80 would be enrolled in the first year.

The Catholic community had been asking for years for a school in the northeast, especially as the area continues to develop.

"We've previously applied and were declined, but the demand, I believe, has increased," Roil said.

Roil hit out at rumours that a new build will affect the other Catholic schools.

"It is absolutely not correct that we will be shutting other primary schools to cater for the Rototuna one," he said.

"They are very viable. We'll simply be drawing on the growth in that area."

Roil said while most of the diocese's primary schools aren't zoned, most people want to live near the school their child attends.

He couldn't give an indication of how much the school would cost to build.

"The local ministry expects a report to be completed in the next few weeks and given there's a general election, [whether we get approved] and how long the process will take may depend on who the government is."

Ministry deputy secretary of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said staff are currently assessing the application.

"The Bishop of Hamilton has lodged an application to establish a new Year 1 to 8 Catholic primary school," Casey said.

She said the application will be processed in the next few weeks.

Once that happens, the Education Minister would decide whether or not to give the school the go-ahead.

New schools in the Hamilton's northeast
- Endeavour School, Flagstaff - opened 2015 - space for 400 pupils, plus 200 more after second stage of construction
- Rototuna Junior High School, Rototuna - opened 2016 - space for about 1200 pupils
- Rototuna Senior High School, Rototuna - opened in 2017 - space for 800 students
- New school, Sylvester (north of Flagstaff) - due to open 2019 - space for 700 pupils

- Catholic Hamilton Diocese wants to build a primary school in Rototuna
- Existing Hamilton Christian School is trying to move from a private school to be state integrated