Building admin block sets school a challeng

Taieri College principal David Hunter  in the school's hall, which is about to be temporarily turned into administrative offices and the school library. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Taieri College principal David Hunter in the school's hall, which is about to be temporarily turned into administrative offices and the school library. Photo by Craig Baxter.

Taieri College administration staff are preparing for what will be a more communal work environment when they move into their temporary office space later this year.

The school is to house its administration operations in the school hall for up to a year, along with the school's library, staff-room and principal's offices, while a new multimillion-dollar administration building is constructed.

And all that will separate them is a thin partition.

Principal David Hunter said it would be a ''very communal'' space.

The school was granted Ministry of Education funding last year to build a $3.1 million state-of-the-art facility to replace its 76-year-old administration block, which comprises the school's reception area, staff-room, administration offices, library and information centre, as well as eight classrooms.

The block is to be demolished at the end of July and the school is already preparing to move the contents of its operations centre.

Mr Hunter said the development posed many challenges, but the attitude of staff had made the necessary changes workable.

''The administration block itself houses our computer server, transformer and switchboard, so logistically it will be a massive undertaking to move it all.

''There are plenty of challenges ahead of us ... It's quite a significant contingency that we have to put in place.

''It's because everyone is excited about getting a new building that we're happy to make some short-term allowances for what we're going to get out of it.''

Charles Thomas Architects, of Christchurch, had been selected to design the new building, and construction would start as soon as the demolition of the existing building was complete, Mr Hunter said.

In the meantime, school assemblies would be held in the gymnasium and indoor training centre, and staff were working on ''creative'' ways to incorporate the pupils from the classrooms being demolished, into existing rooms around the school.

''We have the option of getting a few prefabricated buildings in, but our preference is to get through it by making better use of the space we've got.''

The new 1532sq m block would be a more modern and space-efficient layout, he said.

''It will allow the college to leap into the 21st century,'' he said.

''Better use of space, better lighting, better heating, better for the kids - that's what we want.

''The future is looking really bright for our college.''

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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