Bright­wa­ter gets a Lego makeover

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - SA­MAN­THA GEE

A minia­ture ver­sion of Bright­wa­ter’s main street came to life as school kids used Lego to show how it could be im­proved.

Bet­ter foot­paths, bus shel­ters and trees lin­ing the street were some of the ideas put for­ward by Bright­wa­ter School stu­dents.

As part of a Tas­man District Coun­cil ini­tia­tive, stu­dents from Room 10 brain­stormed pos­si­ble ideas for the up­grade before split­ting off into groups armed with boxes of Lego to bring their creations to life.

A bet­ter va­ri­ety of shops, a pizza restau­rant and an an­i­mal shel­ter were some of the more colour­ful ideas thrown into the mix.

Jimmy West, 11, said El­lis St needed a bus bay out­side the church for the Waimea In­ter­me­di­ate kids, and ac­cess into Cen­ten­nial Park from the main road in­stead of hav­ing to go around into Lord Ruther­ford Rd.

He also thought a tree house could be erected in the empty space next to the Four Square to give kids some­thing to do.

West said the ac­tiv­ity was fun, be­cause ‘‘you get to de­sign some­thing that is bet­ter for Bright­wa­ter’’.

Erin Macleod, 11 said that they needed more stands for those watch­ing games at the Wan­der­ers Rugby Club and a safe place on the foot­path for el­derly peo­ple, es­pe­cially those in wheel­chairs.

The group also had some ‘‘ran­dom ideas’’, like a pizza shop on the main road.

‘‘It’s real fun to dec­o­rate Bright­wa­ter,’’ Macleod said.

‘‘And make a dif­fer­ence in the town,’’ Jaymee Cle­ments,11 added.

The ini­tia­tive was led by staff from Opus In­ter­na­tional Con­sul­tants who would be plan­ning the up­grade of El­lis St.

Opus In­ter­na­tional Con­sul­tants plan­ner Reuben Peter­son said the ex­er­cise was a good way to get con­nec­tion with the stu­dents.

A for­mer Bright­wa­ter School pupil him­self, Peter­son said the kids were com­ing up with lots of good ideas.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing, I think a lot of peo­ple prob­a­bly dis­count kids ideas a bit, but they are com­ing up with stuff I would ex­pect any­one might come up with and more.’’

Bright­wa­ter School act­ing prin­ci­pal Glenda Earle said that kids were able to look at things from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive with­out any pre­con­cep­tions.

‘‘To get the stu­dent voice com­ing through and get­ting some ideas from the kids as to what can hap­pen with El­lis St is re­ally cool, it gives the kids a pur­pose.’’

The ini­tia­tive was held ahead of a public meet­ing on the en­hance­ment of El­lis St for Bright­wa­ter res­i­dents, who would get a chance to see videos of the kids’ ideas. The meet­ing is at Bright­wa­ter School on Septem­ber 20 from 3 to 6pm.

BRADEN FASTIER/THE LEADER

Bright­wa­ter School pupils con­trib­ute to the re-de­sign of their main street with the help of Lego. Pic­tured from left is Jaymee Cle­ments 11, Amy Ju­lian 9, Keira Crich­ton 10, and Erin MacLeod 11.

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