MAC’s $33.5m redevelopment officially opens

by Lauren Pattemore - Sep 13, 2023

Yesterday, Te Kura o Tititea Mount Aspiring College officially opened its new buildings with Minister of Education Jan Tinetti coming to Wānaka for the occasion.

The school is welcoming new teaching spaces, a library, meeting rooms, a whare, a wellbeing hub, art workrooms, and studios for music, drama and dance.

School Board chair Dr Ian Hall says the $33.5 million redevelopment is an important investment in the future of the rapidly growing school.

“We want our young people of the Upper Clutha community to have the best possible educational experience."

The exterior of the new building, officially opened this week by the Minister of Education.

He says the new facilities provide "a fit for purpose educational environment".

It’s the first phase of longer-term development plans to refurbish older classrooms and demolish the former administration building to create a new outdoor area for students.

Principal Nicola Jacobsen has observed students practising kapa haka in the whare at lunchtime, student performances at the theatre, and students practising in the new music studios.

She says students and staff are “flourishing” in the new learning spaces.

“Our new flexible spaces promote stronger relationships between teachers and students, allowing students to work with four teachers as part of a learning hāpori and benefit from having access to a mix of teachers with varied interests, passions and expertise.

“Thanks to the flexibility of the space, we can organise the learning environment to cater to our students’ different learning styles.

“The new buildings have also allowed us to co-locate our student pastoral care services in our new administration block, which has created a supportive space for students with our deans, guidance counsellors and administration staff all under the one roof."

The official opening was also attended by Queenstown Lakes District Council mayor Glyn Lewers, deputy mayor Quentin Smith, Clare Allison, the wife of the college's founding principal Mike Allison, and other local community leaders.

Main image: The new Black Box Theatre, part of a new building block at Mount Aspiring College.

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