Challenge leads to welcome donation

By Liz Wylie

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FUNHOUSE FAN: Pre-schooler Andie Burnette checks out the fire engine play house made by Whanganui City College students.
FUNHOUSE FAN: Pre-schooler Andie Burnette checks out the fire engine play house made by Whanganui City College students.

Children at Funhouse Learning Centre in Whanganui will soon have a new fire engine play house thanks to a group of Whanganui City College students.

The students took on the BCITO (Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation) Build-Ability challenge in May this year when they submitted their plans for a play house.

Discovering that the Funhouse had an old play house that was tired and rickety, they offered to build them a new one.

"We are delighted to be chosen," said Funhouse manager Charity Brown.
"The students have consulted with us every step of the way and they asked the children for their ideas as well.

"They have been down to test the height for the seats by getting the children to sit while they measured to find the right dimensions.

"They have done such a good job and I really hope they win."

The Build-ability Challenge closed on Friday and judging is now underway after the students worked with their teacher and mentor Phil Hopkinson to add the finishing touches.

"Dulux have donated the paint and we are just off to the fire station to collect some bits that they have donated," said Mr Hopkinson.

He said local businesses Beadles Panel Products and Eastown Timber & Fencing have generously supported the project as well.

Whanganui City College is the only local entrant in the 2016 Build-ability Challenge which is a partnership with schools to actively encourage young people to consider a career in the building and construction industry.

There are 26 other schools from around New Zealand entered in the challenge and each competing school have been keeping blogs on their progress.

Voting is now open for the peoples' choice award and Whanganui people can vote for their local school by visiting buildability.co.nz.

The peoples' choice winner will be awarded a "team shout" (to the value of $300) and their school will get a framed certificate to display in pride of place.

The supreme winning school team (decided by a panel of expert judges) will be awarded a $1,000 voucher for their school's technology department and individual prize packs for each of the team members and will receive the winner trophy.

Winners will be announced on Monday September 12 and whatever happens, children at Funhouse Learning Centre get a flash new play house and the WCC team have promised to fix up their old one as well.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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