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Central Otago raised its glass to a $1.5 million investment in Cromwell’s polytechnic on Saturday but there is more good news on the way.
No sooner had the new trades and craft brewery building at Central Campus been officially opened than plans for further expansion were announced.
Otago Polytechnic chairwoman Kathy Grant said it was too soon to say how much the next stage of the Cromwell polytechnic development would cost or when it would be done, but it would include the construction of a brewery cafe near the existing brewery, on the polytechnic’s Bannockburn site.
The new trades and brewery building was the second part of a two-stage, $3 million project at Central Campus in the last year.
Earlier this year a $1.5 million student accommodation complex was completed.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan, who opened the new building and was poured the first beer in the craft brewery, said the investment was significant for Central Otago.
"It is a huge commitment to the positivity of Central Otago as a region for growth and as a region for education."
The brewery — known as the Rough Rock Brewing Company — will host students in the New Zealand Certificate in Brewing, a full-time, one-year Level 4 programme Central Campus is the first to provide in New Zealand.
But the main part of the new $1.5 million building will house Central Campus’ carpentry and automotive students.
Central Campus head of school Alex Huffadine said growth in students studying for trades qualifications was steady and the courses provided strong career prospects for graduates and helped fill rising demand for apprentices in Central Otago.
Central Campus’ open day on Saturday also featured the auction of a three-bedroom house built by the Central Otago carpentry students. It was the first time carpentry was offered at Central Campus, carpentry lecturer Simon Brookes said. The house sold for $178,000 to a Cromwell buyer.
A small shed also built by Central Campus students was also auctioned off and sold, for $8100, to a Cromwell buyer, the profit from the shed going to a project in Vanuatu.