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Ground-Breaking Ceremony Marks Beginning Of Flaxmere College Rebuild

Flaxmere College Head Girl Meiata Nepia (left), teacher Kevin Gill, year 10 student Kamau Price and Kaumātua Jerry Hapuku pictured at a ground-breaking ceremony.

Flaxmere College has marked an important milestone in its multi-million dollar rebuild with a ground-breaking ceremony.

More than 60 staff, students, whānau, and community leaders including newly elected Tukituki MP Anna Lorck and Flaxmere councillor Henare O’Keefe attended the ceremony at the Henderson Rd site in Flaxmere on Friday.

Kaumātua Jerry Hapuku gave a mihi whakatau and karakia, and the kapa haka group performed.

Kevin Gill, Flaxmere College’s longest-serving teaching staff member, Head Girl and exiting Board of Trustees student representative Meiata Nepia and year 10 student Kamau Price were tasked with turning the soil.

Principal Jim Hay-Mackenzie said: “The ceremony is a really important stage in the rebuild and is a symbolic start to the building”.

This year after much time, negotiation, and increased budgets, the plans for the rebuild were finally approved and work started on the rebuild a couple of months ago.

The digging marks the site of the main teaching block.

Stage one of the developments, the rebuild of Block A (the main teaching block), Block B, the refurbishment of the hall and Block C (the new administration building) will begin on 10 December, with the official handover scheduled for December 2021. The gym and Kowhai Special School refurbishment will be completed in 2022.

Mr Hay-Mackenzie said it is really important for Flaxmere that the local high school has high-quality buildings and facilities.

“This will align with what we do in our school with our teaching and learning. Flaxmere College is the local school for our students so they should be expected to not only have the best teachers but the best facilities.”

He acknowledged and thanked a number of key organisations that have been integral to the process, including the Ministry of Education, MOAA Architects of Hamilton, the Building Intelligence Group and Stead Construction Limited.

He also recognised former long-serving principal Louise Anaru and current Deputy Principal responsible for property, Shelley Arnold.

Head Girl Meiata said she was honoured to be able to be a part of the process and is excited about what the rebuild will do for the College.

“We’ve been waiting for this for so long. I’m excited that even though I won’t be here to experience it, I know the younger kids will love it.”

Mr Gill, who has been with the college since it opened in 1993 said it is a “momentous occasion in the development of the school”.

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