Pensioner project on track
A $950,000 pensioner housing project in Tokoroa is still on track to start in May despite a setback in builders.
The project, on a Kindergarten St corner reserve, was to be built by carpentry students from Waiariki Institute of Technology, but that arrangement was cancelled when it became clear the number of units would take to long to build.
Head of department for carpentry John Kelly said it was a mutual decision between Waiariki and the South Waikato District Council.
He said the hours available for students to work on the project did not fit in with their timetable.
"As we got closer to the project it became clear it wasn’t going to happen," he said
"Our students need to learn without being under pressure."
Kelly said the best solution was to back out of the project for the benefit of the residents waiting to occupy the units.
Rumours circulating that the students failed a drug test were incorrect, Kelly said.
He said compulsory drug testing for enrolments in the trade courses were introduced this year.
JK Homes, a local contractor, will now work with high school students from the Gateway Programme to complete the project.
Deputy Chief Executive Ben Smit said the six units would take two years to complete, rather than three to four as originally planned.
"Council is very pleased that we are still able to build the units using a council, business, community partnership, utilising local labour and further developing and training our young people."
Kylie Kingi, of JK Holmes, said they supported sourcing local labour and creating employment opportunities in the South Waikato.
"It was an easy decision for us to put in a quote for the project.
"We fully support ... providing young people the opportunities to gain trade skills. And we liked the idea of building new... homes for our older people."
Construction is expected to start this month.