When Mabel Annie Hodge relocated Woodford House to the hills of Havelock North in 1911, there were three buildings, 60 students and six staff. One hundred and six years on and the School now has more than 20 buildings, 320 students and 80 staff.
Our continuous growth has helped more than 8000 students receive a world-class education from one of New Zealand’s leading girls’ schools. As we continue to provide an environment that fosters academic excellence, creativity and the best care for young women, we must invest significantly in our surroundings.
Over the years, we have upgraded, renewed and built upon our campus with an extensive range of facilities while cherishing the original buildings laid by our Founders.
In 2010, we became aware that some of our buildings required strengthening to meet new seismic standards. While it was sobering to learn, it was also an opportunity to develop spaces better equipped for today’s learning.
The buildings included Haddington, originally constructed in 1935, and the Woodford Building, which stands proudly at the front of the School.
In December 2015, Haddington was demolished, with the blessing of the Caseley family, to make way for a performing arts centre, named in honour of Old Girl and famous actress Dame Kate Harcourt.
The Dame Kate Harcourt Performing Arts Centre spans over three levels and covers 883sqm . Its facilities include a drama and dance studio with sprung floors, a music rehearsal space, three classrooms, five tutorial rooms, acoustics throughout the teaching spaces, costume and prop storage facilities and a school maintenance workshop.
We are honoured to have Dame Harcourt and her family open the buildings at our special event on Thursday 9 March, 2017.
In January 2016, renovations commenced inside the Woodford Building, including a new kitchen, laundry, extended dining room and outdoor deck for Year 13 students, as well as the Bernard L Chambers Founders’ Room – a multi-purpose space for our community to use.
Around $6 million has been invested into these building projects and we are grateful for the generous support of our community. We would like to especially acknowledge and thank the Chambers Charitable Trust for their substantial contribution in supporting Woodford House as a leading school for girls.
We look forward to opening the doors of these buildings, and the exciting opportunities ahead.