The Ministry of Education wants to close Woolston School - but now it is going to build new classrooms there.
Tenders closed last week for a new two-classroom block at the school, which the ministry wants to merge with Phillipstown School and move to a new site at Linwood College.
The revelation of the new block has astonished Hagley-Ferrymead Community Board chairman Bob Todd, who has been supporting the two schools in their fight to remain where they are now.
"What the hell are they doing calling tenders when they are going to close it?" he asked.
"I get the distinct impression as far as the Ministry of Education goes that one hand does not know what the other is doing." He was also concerned about the amount of grief the closures plan was causing in the community, he said.
Woolston principal Janeane Reid said the new block would have two classrooms to cater for new entrant growth and bilingual unit growth, and it was expected to open before the end of the year.
"It was already approved because of roll growth prior to the decision (on school closures)" she said. "We've been assured it's going ahead."
The school needed space and the roll had grown from 180 after the February quake to 242 in July and 270 now.
Confusion on classes
Education Minister Hekia Parata visited both Phillipstown and Woolston Schools last week, and Ms Reid said families gave the minister some clear messages around the priorities of maintaining the good things they had at Woolston School.
"That was the point they stressed to the minister," she said.
"They don't want to compromise the quality of education they are currently getting at Woolston School."
Mr Todd was present for the minister's visit to Phillipstown, and said Phillipstown was a real community hub and an integral part of the community.
He went to Phillipstown himself, and his children went to Woolston.
The Observer sought comment from the ministry about the new block and from the minister's office about this and the response to her school visits last week, but none were received before our deadlines.