Kindergarten poised to move up hill

teachers (from left) Kim Ruthven and Roberta Carvalho, and head teacher Lyn Morton,  cross the...
teachers (from left) Kim Ruthven and Roberta Carvalho, and head teacher Lyn Morton, cross the road with Andersons Bay Community Kindergarten children outside the kindergarten. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
An 86-year-old kindergarten’s stint at a hall beside the Andersons Bay Presbyterian Church is about to come to an end.

The Andersons Bay Community Kindergarten will soon move up the hill to Jeffery St after the church decided to close because of an unfavourable earthquake safety report and a dwindling congregation.

The Presbyterian church indicated recently it would sell the 1914 church building, which is a category 2 historic place.

The kindergarten was set up for the church in 1932 for children in need by Lulu Petrie, who died  aged 101 in 2013.

Head teacher Lyn Morton said the kindergarten had been offered the property for purchase, but it would have had to buy the whole site including the church, which "was not for us".

Instead it was lucky enough to be able to lease a building owned by the Ministry of Education, which funds kindergartens, by Andersons Bay School.

Mrs Morton said it was understood the building, which was a playcentre until about a year ago, was the site of the first police station in Dunedin.

The kindergarten had considered moving to the former Tomahawk School, but had decided Jeffery St was a better option.

"This way we get to stay in our own area and keep our own name."

The kindergarten was doing "quite major renovations" at the new site, which would have an orchard, and a kitchen to use the orchard’s produce, Mrs Morton said.

There was some sadness at having to leave the Silverton St site.

Kindergarten management committee president Mel Linwood said the kindergarten had been "such a part of the community" for a long time.

The kindergarten’s six teachers and about 35 children were expected to move to the new site at the end of April.

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