Spruce up for ne­glected build­ing

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TARRANT

What was once a rot­ting, run down youth cen­tre is now a sprightly spot, thanks to the South Waikato com­mu­nity.

Work­ers from ABB Lim­ited at Kin­leith Mill spent a day in the sun sand­ing, paint­ing and ren­o­vat­ing the ex­te­rior of Pu­taruru Youth Mat­ters’ premises as part of a com­mu­nity project.

Vol­un­teer Chris Soames took to the derelict weath­er­boards with a wa­ter blaster be­fore the team got their hands dirty on Thurs­day.

The ABB work­ers pro­vided the tools and man­power while Gra­ham Hartwell pro­vided the paint­ing tresses, Bun­nings do­nated ma­te­ri­als, The Pu­taruru Hire Cen­tre lent scaf­fold­ing and Jim McAlis­ter re­paired the win­dows.

Willem Meyer, busi­ness unit main­te­nance man­ager for the Two Pulp Mill, said the project sounded promis­ing from the start.

‘‘I’ve had a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence with youth cen­tres so when this project came up I knew I had to put it for­ward.’’

The ren­o­va­tion was one of many wor­thy projects sub­mit­ted to the com­pany.

Pu­taruru Youth Mat­ters trust chair­per­son Pam Carter said it is fan­tas­tic know­ing they won’t have to worry about the out­side of the build­ing for the next 15 to 20 years. ‘‘It was a mess,’’ she said. With only vol­un­teers to call on it is dif­fi­cult to find the funds and man­power to achieve some­thing like this, she said.

‘‘We call on fam­ily and friends all the time so it’s nice to see some­one else in the com­mu­nity help­ing out.’’

The ren­o­va­tions come at a spe­cial time for the or­gan­i­sa­tion which signed off on the own­er­ship pa­pers of the build­ing on Wed­nes­day.

Ms Carter said the trust had been sourc­ing funds for the build­ing for the past 12 months.

Pu­taruru Youth Mat­ters opened in 2006 and pro­vides a place for youth be­tween the ages of 13 and 25 to hang out.

The cen­tre aids Pu­taruru youth in gain­ing their driver’s li­cences, amongst other things.

‘‘We’ll do any­thing to help them move for­ward,’’ Ms Carter said.

Spruce up: The Pu­taruru Youth Mat­ters cen­tre is get­ting a much-needed spruce up.

Keen vol­un­teers: Wayne Har­ris, left, Dy­lan Jaffe and Jor­dan Suther­land help paint the scruffy-look­ing ex­te­rior.

Mas­ter painter: Rick Miller is good with the paint­brush.

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