School principal Elizebeth Kapi said it would be be “something to look forward to” when the project actually got underway.
“We have 260 students from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to Year 7 and the move to the much-anticipated new building will be a positive boost for the students,” Kapi said.
The new school was expected to accommodate 500 students and teachers were prepared to take up the challenge of catering for increased numbers of pupils, she said.
“It is all about the building actually being built and completed and it must be able to accommodate us adequately.
“We want to hear when will it start and when it will progress. At the end of the day, we just want to provide our children with the best learning environment.”
After part of Avatea Primary School was destroyed in an arson attack in 2014, it was decided to merge Avatea with nearby Nikao Maori School into one school called Apii Nikao.
The Apii Nikao School Rebuild Committee approved the demolition of Avatea and Nikao Maori schools in late 2014.
The school has been accommodated at Apii Nikao Hall since 2014 and while
both teachers and pupils had been managing well, construction of a new, purpose-built facility cannot come too soon, Kapi said.
Last year CI News reported that rebuilding the new “modern learning environment” school could take up to three years, due to changes in the People’s Republic of China’s funding process.
Around that time Cook Islands Investment Corporation chief executive Tamarii Tutangata said as part of this country’s maturing relationship with the Peoples Republic of China the corporation had now organised the use of materials that met Cook Islands or New Zealand and Australian standards.
The Chinese government understood and accepted that, he said.
While he expected that people who were opposed to Peoples’ Republic of China involvement in the reconstruction of Apii Nikao may not accept that assurance, those standards were definitely what were required for the rebuild, Tutangata said.
Construction plans show that the school will be built in similar style to Tereora College, catering from ECE to year 8.
The start date is expected to be confirmed over the next few months.