The completion of phase one of Maniototo Area School’s $11million rebuild was celebrated with the official opening of the school’s technology block last Friday.

The new building, on the site of the original technology block constructed in 1953, housed the hard materials (woodwork) classroom, food technology room, science lab, design hub and music/whanau.

The block was blessed by Presbyterian Support counsellor Stu Hawkins before Maniototo Area School principal Joe Ferdinands addressed the small crowd of staff, pupils and supporters, including those directly involved in the project.

Maniototo Area School woodwork teacher Dale Byrne cuts the ribbon to officially open the school’s new technology block.

The honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open the new building went to former MAS woodwork teacher Dale Byrne, before the school’s youngest pupil, Hemi Huddleston, cut a cake with the assistance of his teacher, Celine Ferdinands.

After the school’s 150 pupils performed a waiata for guests, the building was officially open for people to wander into and explore.

Maniototo Area School principal Joe Ferdinands was barely able to contain his excitement to be in the new building.

“It’s been years in the planning and the making and finally we have the first of our blocks,” Mr Ferdinands said. “It’s not just plans any more.”

Takes the cake . . . Maniototo Area School’s youngest pupil, Hemi Huddleston (4), and new entrants teacher Celine Ferdinands cut the cake to mark the opening.

The new technology building, the most complex of the three rebuild phases, would have a positive impact on pupils’ learning, he said.

The next phase of the rebuild project, the senior block which would house five new classrooms, was already under way with demolition on the existing site scheduled for this week.

Stage two is scheduled to be completed by February 2022, with the whole project due to be finished by the end of next year.



WaiataYear 12 pupil Harmony Devitt (17) performs a waiata at the official opening of the technology block. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON