A $750,000 extension to Tauranga's Riding for the Disabled Equestrian Therapy Centre has now officially opened.
The extension project began in May last year and was officially opened at a special ceremony yesterday with a cutting of the ribbon.
The revamp includes a new reception, office block and three more classrooms, plus a $200,000 cover over the outdoor 800sq m riding arena and six more stables.
Tauranga RDA foundation chairman Tom Roper said the extension was an investment in the community.
"It will enable Tauranga Riding for Disabled to meet the increasing need for equestrian therapy in our community," he said.
"This project will support our mission to reach more riders and contribute to enriching the lives and empowering those challenged by disability or who are at risk."
Roper said the therapy centre provided an average of 145 rides per week, however, he said there was growing demand for its services.
"We currently have a waitlist of up to 170 riders," he said. "We want to continue to meet the needs of the community and reduce the wait list, to do this we must expand."
The project was managed by Paul Chapman from Tierra Ltd, who was involved in the initial indoor arena build in 2012.
Manager Elisha Olds said the extension was a welcome addition to the centre.
"We have already extended out riding sessions and are utilising the spaces," she said.
"We look forward to the next year or so when we can reach our capacity, that will mean we can offer many more riders places on our programmes. It's exciting times."
The centre caters for children and adults who are challenged with physical, mental and cognitive difficulties.