This year the world celebrates 100 years of Steiner education and its also the year we start building a unique new school campus. We are building a permanent home for nature-based Steiner education in the Tasman District. The access road onto the farm was completed earlier this year so now our focus is on the infrastructure and buildings. Stage one of the building development will include six classrooms and one kindergarten. This stage has a budget of $1.8M and requires an extraordinary effort from the school community. Architects are preparing designs and building consent applications. The building platforms are being created and construction of the buildings will start in January 2020.
This is a community project driven by parents, teachers and supporters. It started as a community vision, the community has been fundraising, and much of the skill and labour required will come from the school community. We have chosen builders, project managers and architects from the school community. They all have a deep commitment to Steiner education and their passion comes through in the work being done. Rather than take our design out to tender in the open market we are working with a committed team from the beginning. This approach reduces financial risk to the businesses involved so the price is not loaded with risk margins.
The construction budget of $1.8M will be funded from fundraising, donations and community investors. The aim is to maximise fundraising and donations and minimise loans. Minimising loans helps keep school fees affordable. Our fundraising efforts received an early major boost when a supporter offered $500,000 in donations on a one-to-one basis. They will match every dollar donated, one-for-one, for the first $500,000 of donations. Our focus now is to fundraise the first $500,000 so we can get the top-up $500,000. The fundraising total is updated each week in the school newsletter.
The target opening date for the kindergarten is mid-2020 and the primary school should open for term one in 2021. We will be moving from the current rented building, which is now too small, to a purpose-built school on a 13.6Ha farm.