The good news continues, this time with bricks and mortar, as we begin our most significant building projects since Woodford was founded. Alongside all our other priorities we continue an ongoing body of work around buildings. Currently, that means we are looking across the School at where we can make changes in a sustainable and resourceful way.
You play a big part in this work. Every term you provide $230 by way of an earthquake strengthening contribution, and that money is extremely precious to us. Your contribution shows us you are as committed to safety as much as we are, and to ensuring the very best environment possible for our girls.
We are now into Year 4 of a five-year seismic strengthening programme. Our goal is that by 2017 every Woodford building will be rated above 67% of the National Building Standard (NBS).
The Woodford Block
Collectively we have already invested $1 million in strengthening buildings. However, we are now moving towards the reconstruction of part of the Woodford Block. This is a major project scheduled to cost $2.7 million over the next 15 months.
The Woodford Block is at the heart of the oldest part of our School and the work will need care and respect. It is essential work, but it will require time and patience from all of us. As the work proceeds we need to make sure that the education of our students is not disrupted. Bricks and mortar are important but safety and learning are our first priorities. Striking a balance is key.
Through hard work it is often rewarding to consider the end result. In the case of the Woodford block, as a component of strengthening, we will be equipped with a new commercial kitchen and Health Centre, an expanded dining room, and a new multi-purpose meeting area, as well as an extension to our boarding facilities.
In the boarding houses themselves there are also some significant changes. Last year we successfully renovated Morea and soon we will start on upgrading Nelson/Richards into a light, bright and contemporary living space for our full boarders. It is heart warming to know the Boards are committed to ensuring our full boarders have a beautiful and practical home away from home.
Two years ago we established a Performing Arts Faculty and those staff are now rolling out a programme of teaching and performance opportunities. There has been high growth in students pursuing music and drama and we have a growing need for facilities.
In recognising this need, the Boards are committing to new specialist teaching and learning facilities for performing arts. Our existing space, Haddington (built in the 1930s as staff quarters), does not lend itself to redesign and so we are looking at the implications of removing the building and starting anew with a building fit-for-purpose. We are inspired by similar projects happening in other schools and although finances are always an issue with projects of this size, we believe it is a priority for us to do this, and to do it well.
Mrs Julie Peterson, Principal
Sunday 2 August at 7.00pm – Winter Solstice Service. Parents and grandparents are welcome to attend.
Thursday 27 August at 7.00pm in the Gallery – NCEA Information Evening for Parents and Caregivers. For further information please see Mrs Thomas’ article.
Sunday 6 September at 7.00pm – Chapel Service.