Work begins on new Care and Protection Residence
Construction work commences on new Care and Protection Residence
Construction work begins today (11th October) on Child, Youth and Family’s new Care and Protection South residence in Christchurch after the contract was awarded to Hawkins Construction Limited.
The construction takes place on the site of the Department’s Kingslea Residential Centre which currently has 20 youth justice beds and 7 care and protection beds.
The redevelopment of the centre will mean the separation of youth justice and care and protection services in line with Child, Youth and Family’s Residential Services Strategy (RSS) which recommends this because of differing client needs.
As a result of the redevelopment, the number of care and protection beds will increase from seven to 10. The new Care and Protection South residence is expected to open in late August 2005. Some additional minor work such as landscaping will be finished by November 2005.
Meanwhile the youth justice facility will relocate to a new site currently under construction in Rolleston, Christchurch which is scheduled to be completed by July 2005. Once completed this residence will increase the number of youth justice beds nationally from 20 to 32. Lynne Dovey, Programme Director Residential Services Strategy, said: “The construction work is at the northern end of the site which has been cleared for this purpose. While this is going on, we envisage a minimum amount of disruption to the young people and staff at the site and to the surrounding neighbourhood.”
The first priority will be to demolish the old school building to make way for a new residential block which will include kitchen, dining and bedroom areas.
Several existing buildings will be retained and refurbished including a school, gym, administration block and visitors accommodation area.
Hawkins estimates that an average of 30 workers will be on site at any one time.
Margie Michael, Child, Youth and Family Manager, Residential Services, said: “Care and Protection South will be able to provide a safer and more secure environment for children and young people needing specialist care. The new environment following redevelopment will enable staff to better focus on the care programmes these young people need in order to prepare them for their return to their families and the community.”