A smorgasbord of events will celebrate the grand opening of the multi-million dollar Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre.

The aim is to complete the centre in late February next year when "there will be a week of events," Kāpiti College principal Tony Kane said

The construction phase is on target for completion early December before the fitout stage.

Construction of the main theatre. Photo / David Haxton
Construction of the main theatre. Photo / David Haxton

"The fitout will include putting in the seating, sound system, fly system, lighting, all of that sort of stuff."

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Mr Kane was rapt the project was on track.

"It's great because you kind of expect things to not be on track but they are - they are scarily on track.

"But we know it's going to take us the best part of two months trialling and tweaking stuff in terms of acoustics."

A key issue was planning for how the centre would operate.

"We've had quite a number of people in from the theatre world who have given us advice which has been fantastic.

"When we set out with the whole thing it was 'this is what the school needs' and 'this is what our community arts group needs', but the bit we weren't thinking about too much was 'what does Kāpiti audiences need'.

"These people came in and said 'this group will come and play here and this group too' and we hadn't actually seen it as a regional venue.

Black box theatre under construction. Photo / David Haxton
Black box theatre under construction. Photo / David Haxton

"We will get all sorts of groups coming up here."

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Interest in the centre was very encouraging.

"We've got about 90 days of bookings already for next year."

And Mr Kane was helping bring acts to the centre.

"Today I'm talking to Drax Project," he said when he showed Kapiti News around the complex yesterday.

Inside the foyer area. Photo / David Haxton
Inside the foyer area. Photo / David Haxton

The college was also advertising for a venue manager to help attract acts to the venue.

Meanwhile Arise Church will use the Coastlands Theatre and some adjoining rooms on Sundays.

But the church, which has a 10 year lease agreement, will use the college's gym several times a year to free up Sundays for community and other events requiring the theatre.

"It has enabled us to finish the building - that's the truth of it."

The bulk of the centre is funded by the college and Ministry of Education with support from a number of other groups, businesses and individuals.

He said it wasn't uncommon for a building of this nature to have an anchor tenant.

Moreover the church's involvement would also help enable community group's get access to the venue at reasonable rates.

Outside the front entrance. Photo / David Haxton
Outside the front entrance. Photo / David Haxton

"If you think about all those civic centres around the country, they all lose money, council's prop them up.

"So council [Kāpiti Coast District Council] doesn't particularly want to prop us up, so you need an anchor tenant, so that the community group's have access."

The centre, costing over $10m, located at the college, includes a main theatre with 330 seating, atrium/foyer, 200sqm black box theatre, music room [which is same size as the main stage], practice room, dance studio and more.