As part of long term planning for government properties, Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) is expected to begin stage one of the $11.7 million project in December this year.
The fund will be provided by New Zealand and follows a pledge made by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key during last year’s celebration of the Cook Islands’ 50 years of independence in free association with New Zealand.
Full redevelopment of the college will cost an estimated $40 million and will create a flexible learning environment. It will also allow the improvement of learning and teaching practices and cater for an expected growth in student roll numbers.
The project will also enable the college to avoid the high cost of maintaining the current buildings, as well as correcting problems with the site and utility services.
The remodelled college is expected to accommodate 750 students, 50 teachers and 10 support staff. It will draw on the heritage of the area and provide high quality, fit-for-purpose and comfortable learning environments.
Stage one will include a technology centre, research, academic, library, student services and administration centre.
Deputy principal Mona Ngaau said teachers, students and parents were enthusiastic about CIIC’s plan to have the new building opened by 2018.
“The building will be one of a kind and will be appropriate for a modern learning environment, giving an opportunity for students to choose their learning environment and future careers,” Ngaau said.
She said the college wanted each of their students to be the best they could be.
According to the Ministry of Education, the redevelopment is expected to provide greater learning opportunities for Cook Islanders, with the college becoming a benchmark for further secondary school development in the Cook Islands.