New road gives access to building site
A major piece of infrastructure has been completed in the project to build the new farm campus. Works included the road entry, driveway, carparks and stormwater drains. Completion of the road is a major milestone in the project as it provides access to the building site. The road also shows the scale and location of the development.
The school has resource consent to build a new primary school, kindergarten and playgroup for 150 students. The vision is to create a unique new school that integrates Steiner Education with nature and biodynamic farming. The farm will give students daily connection with nature and engage them in projects that protect and restore the land. Activities such as gardening and compost making not only teach skills and reinforce other learning but also gives students a positive relationship with nature and their future.
The engineering design and fundraising happened in 2018, and works were completed in June 2019. The road works, drainage and landscaping cost about $175,000. These funds were raised by the school community and supporters as donations, grants and interest-free loans. A crowdfunding campaign last year raised $31,000 from 68 donors. The road and the whole new campus project has been made possible by the generosity of our school families and supporters.
The earthworks started with a good omen when a pre-European pakohe toki (argillite adze) was found by the on-site cultural monitor. This taonga is now in safe storage and hopefully will be on display when the school is built.
An opening ceremony was held on 11 May 2019 to celebrate the milestone. Hori Kahukura, who was the cultural advisor to the project spoke about the pre-European history of the site and significance of finding the Adze and fire pits. The bus roundabout proved an ideal place to form a circle, demonstrate community and sing together. A quick walk up the road took everyone to the site where classrooms will be built. Lunch was followed by tree planting, by far the most energetic part of the day.
The design and workmanship of the new road were put to the test soon after completion. On 19th July a major rain event drenched the area and flooded the nearby Moutere River. The road surface and drainage system performed well with only minor damage to the walking track. An extra cut-off drain will be added to fix that problem. The finished surface of the road will be added after the classrooms have been constructed.
The next step is to design and build six classrooms plus additional infrastructure. This next stage has a construction budget of $1.5M and a completion date of December 2020. The main construction material for buildings will be wood. The plan is to use builders, professionals and craftspeople from the school community. Students can learn from the example of their parents and other families working together to build something they value. Historically, communities came together to built cathedrals or pa, we are focusing that same community spirit to build a school and restore nature.