Trades feature strongly in Cromwell polytech celebrations

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PAM.JONES

@alliedpress.co.nz

Central Campus students were at the forefront of celebrations for a $1.5million project at the Otago Polytechnic’s Central Otago campus last weekend.

Not only were they centre stage at the unveiling of the new trades and craft brewery building on the polytechnic’s Bannockburn site, a three-bedroom house students had built was auctioned off in a first for the polytechnic.

This year was the first time carpentry had been offered at Central Campus, so it was the first time a house had been built and auctioned, carpentry lecturer Simon Brookes said.

The house sold for $178,000 to a Cromwell buyer.

A small shed built by Central Campus students was also auctioned off and sold for $8100; the profit from the shed will go to a project in Vanuatu.

More than 100 people attended the open day at the polytechnic on Saturday, which featured the house auction and the official opening of Central Campus’ new $1.5million trades and craft brewery building.

Carpentry and automotive students will be based in the main part of the building from next year.

Central Campus head of school Alex Huffadine said the growth in students studying towards trades qualification was steady and the courses provided strong career prospects for graduates and helped fill increasing demand for apprentices in Central Otago.

Otago Polytechnic chairwoman Kathy Grant said more investment was to come for Central Campus.

It was too soon to say how much the next stage would cost or when it would be done, but it would include the construction of a brewery cafe near the existing brewery, on the polytechnic’s Bannockburn site.

The brewery, known as the Rough Rock Brewing Company, will host students in the New Zealand certificate in brewing, a full-time, one-year level 4 programme. Central Campus will become the first institution in New Zealand to provide the course when it begins next year.

Level 5 and 6 brewing qualifications will also be offered in time.

The new trades and brewery building was the second part of a two-stage, $3million project at Central Campus in the last year.

Earlier this year, a $1.5million student accommodation complex was completed.