With Term 2 almost over it is timely to provide an update on our two big projects, one complete and the other nearing that position.

Te Whare Kūkūwai was opened officially on June 17 but of course it has been in use for all of this term. Apart from a few teething problems the building is working well though there are a few aspects the staff and the board are investigating.

Heating and ventilation has been an issue from time to time but this is mostly due to our ‘learning’ how the mechanics of the system work, and how we modify the ‘climate’ when it needs to change. Bag storage has been an issue. We are not alone in this, it appears that it is an issue to be solved in virtually every rebuild.

This week a team of acoustic engineers will return to the building to check and test sound flows. There are one or two areas where additional acoustic treatment will help fix these sound issues so this is being investigated at the board’s request.

The block which is currently being refurbished is well underway, and in fact, is likely to be completed much earlier than anticipated. If all goes to plan it should be available for use either for the start of Term 4 or early into Term 4. At the moment all linings inside and out have been removed and are being updated. The board and Senior Management have met with the architects and project manager to ensure that bag storage is better catered for in this project.

The board’s landscaping team have now met with the project manager and have a clearer idea of what works will be done through the project and what will be the responsibility of the school. The team is hoping to be able to meet ‘seasonal planting’ deadlines so that an extra year of growth can be obtained. Delays in handover may slow the planting process.

The projects are moving along as expected without too many big surprises, however, the board is challenging the Ministry of Education at every point to ensure that the St Martins School community receives everything it is entitled to.