Community learning proposal for former i-Site

Central Otago District Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs. PHOTO: CENTRAL OTAGO DISTRICT...
Central Otago District Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs. PHOTO: CENTRAL OTAGO DISTRICT COUNCIL
Information looks set to be replaced with education at Alexandra’s former i-Site.

A preferred applicant to make use of the former visitor information centre area in the Central Stories building on Centennial Ave has been announced.

A joint proposal from Otago Polytechnic (Central Campus), Central Otago REAP and Alexandra Community House to create a community learning hub has been selected as the Central Otago District Council’s preferred proposal for the space in the central Alexandra building.

Council called for expressions of interest for the future use of the area from mid-August to mid-September.

The three groups intend to create a community learning hub, with three key functions: to expand community education and introduce tertiary education into the Alexandra community, focus on Covid-19 recovery training and reskilling, and to include a lounge area to support other activities and serve as a meeting place.

The vision is to create a staffed "digital teaching space" that supports learners to engage with digital education.

A suite of 12-15 desktop computers and printers would be housed along with the lounge area.

Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said all three groups shared common values related to the community and education and the plan fitted well with the present tenants of the Central Stories building.

It would enrich the space as a place of learning, arts and culture, she said.

"Siting this new community learning hub right across the road from Alexandra Community House also creates an exciting dynamic and potential for an educational and community precinct to evolve."

Central Otago REAP manager Bernice Lepper said establishing an educational community hub at Central Stories would complement the courses REAP offered and give Otago Polytechnic a home in Alexandra to offer online courses.

Council staff will work with the joint venture group to progress the concept to a tenancy within the coming months.


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