School fundraiser breaks new ground

The following is the article published in the Mountain Scene last Thursday. It is reprinted here with permission.

A Queenstown primary school plans to use the resort’s runaway property market to help pay for its playground. A house will be built on a 573sq m section in the Shotover Country subdivision and auctioned. The profits will fund Shotover Primary School’s playground. The school’s board of trustees, GJ Gardner, Placemakers, Hoamz, Shotover Country landowners Sharyn and Grant Stalker and other tradespeople and suppliers are behind the scheme.

”We have big hopes for the amount of income which we can generate with such a high-profile initiative,’’ school principal Ben Witheford said. “The generosity of our partners means there’s potential for a really strong injection into the playground project, which is so vital to the school.’’

The playground falls outside central government funding grants, so the school board and the community have to reach into their pockets. Through grants, stalls, and other fundraisers the board has raised a quarter of the money needed for stage one of the playground project. But the total price tag is between $350,000 and $450,000.

Mr Witheford said the school would not have to find funds for the house project. Everyone had agreed to be paid when it was sold. Realtor firm Hoamz’ managing partner Fred Bramwell hit on the bright idea and approached the principal last year. The school roll will almost triple in size this year to 220 pupils, as it extends to year 8.

Wanaka playground designer Trish Wrigley has drawn up a master plan for the grounds, based on feedback from parents, children and the board.
Locals will be invited to use the equipment and spaces outside school hours.
— Paul Taylor | | Mountain Scene