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Students are the new builders on the block


Makoura College hard tech class house building project led by Bill Taylor. PHOTO/AROHA WITINITARA

By Aroha Witinitara

Students of the year 13 Makoura College BCITO (Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation) class are getting a leg up in the building industry.

The class is currently in the process of building a single bedroom house. The project allows students to earn 20 level three credits; these credits will give them a head start towards apprenticeship qualifications and a sound grounding if they decide to pursue greater qualifications.

This is the fifth house Makoura students have built and they are aiming to have it completed by the end of the third school term, ready for sale in term four.

Previous houses have been full-sized 3 bedroom houses whereas this year, the house is smaller.

It features a single bedroom, a bathroom and an open plan lounge/dining/kitchen.

Makoura College Technology teacher Bill Taylor says the focus of the project is to provide a meaningful project along with valuable experience for year 13 students.

While completing the project, students will learn all aspects of building, including the plumbing and electrical work. All this work is completed under the supervision of qualified tradesmen.

A wide variety of students chose to be a part of the project, including exchange students and two students from Chanel College. Not all of the students who put their hand up to participate in the project have an interest in entering the building industry as a career. Instead, for some of them, their goal is to gain life skills.

“Everyone’s going to be a homeowner one day so we all need these kinds of skills, like building a fence or even adding a new room.” Mr Taylor says.

It is difficult for the school to cover the cost of the building materials for a house. Makoura is fortunate to have the support of Tumu ITM who provide the materials and carry the debt until the house is sold.

Mr Taylor says “what we need to do is cover the cost of the materials; we don’t have to make a huge profit. It’s not a profit making thing. It’s for the students to get the real hands on experience. The money is secondary.”

Students agree that the project has been a great venture. Jack Wesley says it has helped him to build more experience.

Huta Thomas said he was motivated to join the class by his passion for architecture and stayed for the fun nature of the project.

Daniel Gray says he likes the class because it’s ‘something different.’

Originally this year’s house was to be built for a local church.

Unfortunately their funding for the purchase fell through and the arrangement was cancelled. However, because of the nature of the building it was decided it would sell easily so it went ahead anyway.

In past years the houses have sold for between 70 and 90 thousand dollars. This year’s house will be much cheaper because it is much smaller.

It would make a great self-contained unit and the final cost would be dependent on how much of the finishing work (kitchen, bathroom painting etc) the buyers wanted to do themselves, Mr Taylor said.

Anyone interested in purchasing the build can contact Bill Taylor at Makoura College.

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