The XŌtaki College Alumni Trust opened Ngā Pito o Whare at the college on June 19 – a bleak Saturday afternoon.
The conditions were fitting given that the new facility is a space in which students can shelter from winter rain and summer sun. It’s placed on the concrete pad of the old college music room, demolished several years ago. The pad was retained, with the intention that it could be used as an area where students would congregate in their spare time, and used for outdoor learning.
XŌtaki chair Max Lutz praised the efforts of local business people, individuals and organisations.
“Many people have donated their time, their skills and their money,” Max says. “It’s been an amazing effort to provide a much-needed facility.”
He had special praise for Graham and Michelle Peter, whose funds kick-started the project; architect Rob Kofoed, who had to contend with difficult council consents and the consequent budget blowout that went three times over original estimates (to about $90,000); and builder Hamish Sweetman, who put many hours of his own time into the work and discounted the rate for his workers.
“Then of course there are people like Pete Housiaux who always puts his hand up to help out in so many ways, and Trevor Hunter who put in countless hours of work.
“And we can’t forget the Commercial Growers Trust and the Philipp Family Foundation, who were both generous with funding.”