Westland Technology, Innovation and Enterprise Hub

Westland Technology, Innovation and Enterprise Hub

Another really exciting capital project moving forward is the development of Classrooms 16, 17, 18 and 22  (located at the Brittan Street boundary of the school) into a Technology Hub.

The aim is to create a leading innovative Makerspace type facility through linking these classrooms and adding some of the latest technology such as 3D printers, CNC machines and lazer and plasma cutters and a vacuum former. Design, manufacturing and mechanical vocations are all becoming based on the use of this type of equipment with CAD drawing, automation and electronics big players in industry now. The goal is to ensure young people coming through our school have the latest skills so they can take these into our industries and whatever career pathways they aspire to.

The vision for this space does not just sit within the school curriculum and teaching. The intention is for the technology hub to be a space that the community, business and industry people can use. We are keen to hear from industry on whether they have a need for this facility and how it can be shaped and the equipment needed to cater for their needs.

We’re also looking to develop community classes which will operate from the hub. Hokitika once had a vibrant adult community education programme and the goal is to be able to bring back those opportunities for residents of the town and give them access and training to be able to use this equipment.

While in its early stages, teachers have prepared a draft plan to link the buildings and incorporate computing, metal and woodwork. We are also working with people who have industry experience in developing these spaces in the design concepts.

Once the draft plan has been finalised, it will be forwarded to School Support for the commissioning of concept design plans.

This is one of the school’s priority projects and $400,000 has already been allocated towards this from our property budgets and a request for $1.4 million within the Provincial Growth Fund for this and other related projects so we are keen to progress this quickly.