Most schools have a hall – a focal point for assemblies, speeches and activities.
One exception is Gulf Harbour School, but there are plans afoot to raise funds and get one built.
Currently whole school assemblies take place outside, on the netball courts.
Board of Trustees chair Tony Naidu says research shows that schools that have halls have enhanced arts and sports outcomes as it gives a space for children to be creative. “What we also found out is that teachers utilise halls for a range of activities, expanding the curriculum for the benefit of all students,” Mr Naidu says.
“We have done a good job with the spaces we have, however, there is no doubt that having our own hall would make a significant difference. A hall is the centrepiece, a heart really, where we can get together and celebrate festivals and other important occasions. Our goal is to open our hall to the whole community and let it be at the heart of Gulf Harbour.”
Currently a set of concept drawings is being further developed. The plan is to stage construction to ensure the project can start as soon as possible.
Stage one is to build a ‘shell’, which would be the main hall and footprint of the building that could be used immediately upon completion. This will achieve the school’s basic outcomes, with further stages to be developed in time.
Mr Naidu says that funds have already been set aside and further support is now being looked for. One option being considered is to potentially lease some of the school’s spare land to bring in funds and this is being discussed with the Ministry of Education. Commercial sponsors are also being sought.
“We have done well over the last four years to accumulate funds we can allocate for the hall, however, it won’t be enough without support from others,” Mr Naidu says. “We are looking at how we can increase funding through the Ministry of Education, Auckland Council, grants and sponsorships. With the incredible growth in our community, we are hopeful that there are many companies that will want to help us achieve this important piece of local infrastructure for Gulf Harbour.”