The upgrade was completed last week, in time for semester 2 and students now have a professional salon environment in bigger rooms.
A spokeswoman for Ara said Timaru facilities were being reviewed ‘‘in line with the vocational training needs of the region and the vision of more innovative and flexible learning delivery’’.
‘‘The framework for this is the campus master plan. This plan, which involves significant investment, has been progressing at the Ara city campus and Woolston campus in Christchurch, and is now encompassing the southern campuses at Timaru, Oamaru and Ashburton, as well,’’ the spokeswoman said.
‘‘In tandem with this process, short term upgrades have been made as needed.’’
Beauty and hairdressing manager Mandy Gould said increased numbers of students had driven the move to a bigger room.
‘‘We required an additional hairdressing space in Timaru due to the increase in the youth hair and beauty programmes.
‘‘Previously, hairdressing and beauty therapy have been combined but as they are so different, we have now decided to offer separate programmes for each.’’
Client sessions would continue to run on a Thursday morning and Friday.
Ara hairdressing tutor Sharleen Hewson said the hairdressing programme had experienced growth in student numbers over the past two years.
The Timaru campus would introduce hairdressing for high school pupils next year, she said.
Lois Chappell has been having her hair set by Timaru hairdressing students weekly for 20 years. She tried out the the new salon last Friday.
‘‘I’ve got difficult hair and it’s a real experience for the girls to manage it,’’ she said.