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Waihinga Centre

August 8, 2017 August 2017, Regular Features No Comments

Old technology and New - Wheelbarrows still prove useful.

Old technology and New – Wheelbarrows still prove useful.

Open to Change

If you are just walking or driving past the Town Hall it is obvious change is the order of the day.
The supper room to the Town Hall may be open to the elements at one end, where the chimney and kitchen have been removed, but beside it robust foundations are gathering strength. Large exposed trenches house a network of reinforcing steel. Trusty old wheelbarrows stand to the side ready for the hard yards. The door from the supper room to the town hall hangs in limbo awaiting the new floor to come up to the right level. No longer will it be necessary to carefully negotiate the tricky steps which used to descend to the lower level.

An arched doorway, where the old toilets used to be, has been exposed but will eventually disappear again when the outside wall is resurfaced. The new ceiling bracing for the hall has been completed and strong steel supports are bracing the exterior walls during the renovation process. Excavation for all the internal foundations is well under way.

Men in orange coats scramble over a veritable concrete jungle, jumping ditches, wielding lasers and theodolites to ascertain that the measurements and levels are just right. Over the next weeks the steel columns will be prepared, while outside the backfilling of the perimeter foundations will be carried out.
Bordering the area of the proposed new playground are the five concrete pods of the foundations for the new Waihinga Centre.

A divide between the Waihinga Centre and the old Town Hall creates a seismic joint so that in the event of an earthquake the buildings will move independently, providing yet a further level of safety.
Overall the foundations for the Waihinga Centre and Town Hall will have consumed 303 cubic meters or 753 tonnes of concrete. They are nothing if not solid. This is building for the future heritage of our community.

Plans for the Playground
A dinosaur lagoon, a chocolate fountain and a portal to the centre of the earth: these were just some of the imaginative ideas Martinborough children came up with for their new playground at the Waihinga Centre. Sadly they will have to remain just dreams but happily there are some other innovative new pieces of equipment on the drawing board.
Working with the designers of the very successful Waitangi Park in Wellington we are developing a state-of-the-art, modern playground and landscaped park area right next to the new Waihinga Centre.

Why is this Project Important?
Who doesn’t remember the joy of childhood trips to the playground: the anticipation, the thrills and the spills? And what parent or grandparent hasn’t been very grateful to have a playground to help entertain their charges?
The new Waihinga Centre Playground will be this generation’s gift to the children of Martinborough. It recognises how important children are to our community and the value of play in every child’s life.

What Can I Expect to See?
The playground will be set up to cater to several different age groups (under 5s, 5-7 year olds, 7-11 year olds and youth) each with their own separate activities but interconnected with the park as a whole.
We will be re-cycling existing equipment as much as possible but health and safety requirements mean that some old favourites have to be retired. This creates the opportunity to introduce exciting new equipment, to make the playground even more enticing not only for local children but also visitors to our region.
The landscape designers have included grassy areas for children to run around and play as well as an attractive park with seating, tables and shade trees for anyone who wants to watch or just relax in the sun. This park area will be suitable for staging outdoor events as well.

Choosing the New Equipment
We’ve identified a shortlist of suitable equipment options for the playground. Who better to select the best of these than the children themselves? So we will shortly be working out the best way to give all the local children a chance to “vote” on their preferred options.

How Can I Help?
If you would like to become involved in the project, donate services or materials, or make a financial contribution please contact Max on 3069095 or e-mail info@waihingacentre.nz.

Want More Information?
You can find detailed information about the Park and Playground at www.waihingacentre.nz/design or pop in to Victoria Read Architecture on Jellicoe Street to see a hard copy of the plans.
We will also be using this page in The Star to keep you updated.

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