Play­cen­tre ready for of­fi­cial re-open­ing

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MATTHEW SAL­MONS

‘‘This space is light, it's warm, it's fan­tas­tic.’’

Forty-eight years af­ter it first opened in the old hall sup­per room, the Tai Tapu Play­cen­tre is back, bet­ter than ever, and fi­nally has its sand-pit back.

Play­cen­tre par­ent and re­build team mem­ber Sarah Barns­ley said the par­ent co-op­er­a­tive cen­tre hoped to hold an of­fi­cial open­ing cer­e­mony dur­ing term four.

‘‘We’ll fit it in be­fore Christ­mas. It might be a sausage on a BBQ, some­thing pretty sim­ple.’’

Barns­ley said the new build was a stark con­trast to the old ver­sion.

‘‘[The old cen­tre] was a breeze­block, orig­i­nal con­di­tion, cold, pretty drafty, not par­tic­u­larly pleas­ant space and it cer­tainly wasn’t built to any cur­rent ECE stan­dards,’’ Barns­ley said.

It got to a point in April 2016 where the play­cen­tre could not re­new their li­cence with­out up­grad­ing their fa­cil­i­ties.

Af­ter the old hall was de­mol­ished in De­cem­ber last year, the play­cen­tre had a re­lo­cated class­room from Tai Tapu School in­stalled on site by early Jan­uary this year.

With the com­mu­nity get­ting stuck in, lo­cal busi­nesses back­ing it and for­mer mem­bers and play­cen­tre par­ents com­ing down to help, build work was com­pleted in July, al­low­ing the cen­tre to re­open for term three.

‘‘We had a great team thanks to the school com­mu­nity, Smith’s Cranes and Bush­nell Builders.

‘‘There’s a lot of pas­sion be­hind it and a lot of peo­ple want­ing it to suc­ceed, which is great.’’

The most re­cent fea­ture to open was a tun­nel and mound area. Com­pleted last week by Fowler Land­scap­ing, it cru­cially in­cluded the sand-pit.

‘‘They just love it. It’s a really set­tling thing for them, so hav­ing that back has been bril­liant.’’

Next up would be a mud­kitchen for cook­ing up mud-pies and play­ing kitchen. Barns­ley said the play­cen­tre chil­dren were en­joy­ing their new sur­rounds.

‘‘They just love it, they’ve got a bet­ter, big­ger, brighter ev­ery­thing. This space is light, it’s warm, it’s fan­tas­tic,’’ she said.

Although the kids would be happy any­where ‘‘as long as their bud­dies were there’’, for wha¯ nau it was a re­as­sur­ing change.

‘‘It’s now a healthy and safe en­vi­ron­ment for them to bring their ba­bies and preschool­ers to. It’s pretty cool.’’

Par­ents in­ter­ested in join­ing the Tai Tapu Play­cen­tre could con­nect with play­cen­tre par­ents through their Face­book page.

Sarah Barns­ley says the new play­ground mound is one of the most pop­u­lar as­pects of the new build. Sarah Barns­ley

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.