Lawrence pupils aim for skatepark

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YVONNE O’HARA

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

letter-writing and literacy exercise for a group of Lawrence Area School pupils in July last year has turned into a project that will benefit the town.

Teacher Gillian May said the group of 10 pupils decided Lawrence needed a skateboard park and they were encouraged to develop the idea.

Now they are fundraising, with the money going towards the park, and will be providing food and a sausage sizzle during a hunting competition on June 17.

In addition to letter writing, the pupils held a public meeting last year to gauge support for the idea.

A committee made up of parents and pupils was formed and last week lodged paperwork to become an incorporated society.

“We are waiting to hear back from the government department,” Ms May said.

She said an incorporated society required 15 adults on its committee, which they had, in addition to the 10 pupils (two of whom had since moved schools).

Following discussions during the meeting last year with Dallas Storer, who was involved in developing the Kaitangata skateboard park, the committee sourced quotes which incorporated features the pupils wanted in a park, and those quotes ranged from about $100,000 to $400,000.

They decided to go with the cheaper option.

“Once we have incorporated society status then we can open a bank account and apply for grants,” Ms May said.

“The pupils probably had not anticipated just how much work the project would be.”

The committee has also talked to the Ministry of Education about permission to allow the proposed park to be built on school grounds.

They have also contacted the Clutha District Council to have the project included in the long-term plan.

The pupils have also been fundraising, including holding pool parties and selling ice blocks at school, and have raised about $5000 so far.

“When selling ice blocks, it takes them five minutes to raise $100,” Ms May said.

They have also received donations from community members, as well as from organisers of a swede-growing competition.

The Tuapeka Aquatic Centre has suggested they might run a mid-winter polar plunge, and the pupils also intend to hold a car boot sale in September.

“They have got plenty of support from the community,” Ms May said.