$15 Million Contract Approved for College Renovation

A-Line Construction, a Whangarei firm, has been awarded the $15 million contract to rebuild the entire Northland College campus. According to NZHerald.co.nz, the contract was signed by a representative of the school at the college, which is located in Kaikohe, just last week. This will be the biggest project in the area since the Ngawha Prison construction, which occurred 10 years ago, and this current college project will employ almost 40 workers for a period for 18 months or more to the project completion.

Ken Rintoul, Northland College board of trustees’ chairman, believes the majority of the open positions for this project will be filled by local Kaikohe workers, helping to stimulate and support the local economy. Rintoul also stated while many of the old buildings will be demolished to make way for new construction, the school will reuse whatever buildings it can to help stay within budget.

The new school build will include over 20 new classrooms as well as a combined gym and hall. Almost all of the school will be brand new – the only part of the old school that will remain will be the administrative wing. The new building is being constructed in an effort to accommodate the growth of its student population by 100 students over the next three years. The college features a number of different academies including agriculture, military, and hospitality currently, with plans to add more.

On the list of academies to be added to the school are forestry and Manuka honey as well as a teen parent unit that will be opening starting next year. The ground breaking ceremony for the new school will be held in early February but the project is not slated to be completed until the beginning of 2017. A-Line Construction won the contract in part due to its scoring “way above” other contractors and that it has extensive experience with education based construction projects across the area.

The opening of the Manuka Honey Academy may be confusing to some people, but with the increased popularity of Manuka honey in New Zealand, Australia, and beyond, it may actually be beneficial for both the school, the Manuka honey industry, and the students who are involved. Manuka honey beekeepers and production companies are popping up everywhere and, if the popularity of this product continues, it could mean ample job opportunities for those who have the right set of skills.

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