Early childhood centre takes shape

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In progress... The Guild Hall in Aorangi Cres is being upgraded in the first stage of the Lake Tekapo Early Childhood facility project. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Rachael Comer

An early childhood facility for Lake Tekapo is another step closer.
Work has begun on the first stage of the The Lake Tekapo Bright Stars Community Trust project in Aorangi Cres, and the centre is expected to open in July.
The centre will be based at the Guild Hall, which is being upgraded at a cost of $325,000.
Centre spokeswoman Penny Wilson said the builders had started.
“We have begun work on the first phase of the renovation, which is really exciting.”
She said the trust was working to raise the extra funds required for the second phase of the project, so the centre could be opened in July.
“To date, through community fundraising and grants, Bright Stars has approximately $215,000 towards the estimated $325,000 needed to complete the project,” she said.
“They are now pushing hard to raise the final $110,000 to complete this project.”
The centre has been recognised by the Ministry of Education as a community-based solution to accessibility and isolation challenges
“There has been an increase in families moving into Lake Tekapo for work opportunities, bringing young families who are not adequately supported in their early learning years.
“A local early childhood centre would encourage families to seek employment here. We also believe that local businesses would benefit from a more stable, productive and satisfied workforce.”
The trust has begun a Raise A Star campaign and is inviting individuals and businesses to give to the project.
Individuals who give $250 or businesses that donate $500 will be recognised with an engraved star on a fence post surrounding the new centre.
“This is one way we can acknowledge the support of those who help us to get this project over the line.”
Mrs Wilson said Lake Tekapo was a special place for many in the Timaru area.
“They remember holidays at the lake, boating, skiing and ice-skating. Those who live here, holiday here, and cherish Tekapo for its unique character are invited to give back to this small community to help their ‘little stars’ shine.”