Hawea Flat School – Room to Grow!

grandview hall extension

A business case to expand Hawea Flat School’s outgrown hall.

Client: Hawea Flat School

Background: Hawea Flat School was established in 1862. It is a ten-teacher contributing primary school, located in a semi-rural area, 6 km south of Lake Hawea township and 16 km east of Wanaka. The school population swelled during the late 1950s, when the Lake Hawea dam was constructed. Since the turn of the 21st century, the number of pupils has swelled considerably. As at January 2018, the school roll as was 242. Eight classrooms have been added since 2002, bringing the total to ten. Another two classrooms are to be added within the next two years. An expanded administration block is also under design by the Ministry of Education.

Problem: The current school hall, Grandview, was built for a school roll of 80 pupils in the early 2000s. It is now significantly under capacity, which means current and future students are not receiving the level of education and engagement the school and community strives for.

Mission: Utility was engaged to complete, and present to the community, a business case that considered a number of solutions and their associated costs.

Project details:

Rapid growth combined with a property deficit at Hawea Flat School means children no longer have dedicated music, performing arts and creative learning opportunities. The inadequate meeting space has negatively impacted parent-school engagement and reduces the school’s ability to deliver well-rounded children. Whilst Hawea Flat has a dedicated community hall just 200 metres away, giving the perception of an available solution, the hall is not fit for purpose, is nearing capacity, and is unsafe to access.

Utility developed a business case that showed rough order costs on various solutions. Since cost will often significantly influence preferences, this information was presented to the community immediately for feedback.

The community consultation settled on the idea of expanding or replacing the small meeting space they currently have (Grandview Hall) into a dedicated meeting space that can comfortably hold the entire school and visiting parents, for at least 20 years of projected growth. This would be a functional, flexible space that can grow and adapt with students and the wider population ensuring adequate social infrastructure is in place to support Hawea Flat’s thriving community.

Utility helped develop a funding plan with cost estimates covering management, design, construction, and the long run operating costs and governance structure. The community is now busy fundraising and looking forward to bringing their vision to life.

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