Community, Education

Awatere ECE another step closer

Hub committee members thank the community for their help. Photo: Matt Brown

The Awatere ECE Hub committee are “cranking into overdrive” as the realisation of years of hard work comes to fruition.

Construction on a new centre bringing the Awatere/Flaxbourne Plunket, Awatere Playcentre and the Awatere Early Learning Centre under one roof is hoped to begin early next year.

And on Thursday the committee held a special ceremony to thank early supporters of the decade-long project.

Awatere ECE Hub committee chair Phil Muir says they’re taking the opportunity to show their appreciation to the community for all their support.

“It’s been a long time coming.

“There’s a truck load of planning that goes into it, which is what we’ve been doing.”

He says the committee are still waiting on the decision of a Lotteries grant application for $1,354,000 expected during August.

“If that all comes together, we’re potentially starting the build next year,” Phil says.

The area was struck by a 7.8 magnitude quake in 2016, damaging the buildings serving the communities youngest residents beyond repair.

The group’s goal is to raise $2.1 million to build the modern hub.

A new sign showing the amount raised for the learning hub was unveiled at the ceremony.

Committee member Olivia Doonan says she was hoping for the Lotteries decision in time for today’s certificate ceremony so “we would have a bit more of the red line filled in”.

“This will be such an amazing thing for our community,” she says.

“It’s close, after years of working on it.”

“Since the 2013 earthquake we’ve been repairing. It’s been going on for a long time.

“It’s the culmination of years of the community trying to provide the right services.”

She says the ceremony was to show their appreciation for the community’s support.

“We’re wanting to get the build started at the end of the year.

“We’re cranking into overdrive to get it going.”

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