The opening of the revamped trades training kaimahi and ākonga lunchroom and gathering space caps off 18 months of investment in infrastructure for trades ākonga.
A tired tearoom and former trailer shed on WITT’s lower campus have been transformed into a light, bright habitable space, doubling the amount of space available for ākonga and kaimahi to connect and relax at break times. And as Daniel Fuemana, Director of Trades Training Primary and Creative Industries, said at the opening: “Solve the problems of the world over a cup of tea.”
Adjacent to Te Whare Pūkaha, The Engine Room, the new space will be used by all automotive and construction trades skills ākonga and kaimahi who also have their workshops and classrooms near the revamped block.
Last year an all-weather shelter, Te Marunui o Tūparikino, was opened nearby. The open-sided shelter offers vital sun and rain protection for ākonga taking part in construction programmes including the New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trades Skills (carpentry, scaffolding and plumbing) Level 3 and 4 and the Trades Academy Programmes catering to the region’s secondary students. It is large enough to house the small home and footbridges ākonga build as part of their programmes.
“We are continually investing in infrastructure to cater for student numbers and to support the practical learning that WITT is known for,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Interim Operations Co-Lead Linda Dravitski.
A former student of WITT, Andrew Pepper from Pepper Construction, supplied builders for the project and said he was happy to help future proof space for trades training students.
Pictured: Andrew Pepper (Pepper Construction), Stefan Pirie (Ardern Peters Architects), Bradley Coetser (Pepper Construction), Mike Drew (Pepper Construction), Linda Dravitski (WITT), Daniel Fuemana (WITT).