Put the planning of a kindergarten in the hands of Palmerston North preschoolers and you'd be surprised by the results.
Riverdale Kindergarten celebrated the end of a two-year marathon yesterday with the opening of its renewed centre.
More than $200,000 of fundraising and grants money has been spent on the Dittmer Drive building's renovations, which have seen the centre's indoor and outdoor learning environments upgraded.
The purpose-built late 1960s building had become run down, head teacher Chris Williams said.
But exactly what was wanted, and needed, for the refurbishment came from the kindergarten's children.
The preschoolers visited other centres around the city, including Somerset and Milverton kindergartens, and made a wishlist of things they liked.
On it were trees, vegetable gardens and outdoor playground equipment - all things Riverdale's renovated centre includes.
But when work began on the building, problems started emerging, including one end of the centre sinking about 150cm into the ground, bathroom walls leaking and problems with sewerage piping.
"Our journey here has not been a smooth one. It was filled with challenges, misunderstandings, miscommunications, many highs and a few lows," Ms Williams said.
Extensive work had since gone into transforming the inside and outside, with a state-of-the-art centre the final product.
Ms Williams said the 12-month construction phase, when the children stayed on site, became a learning experience.
The builders became the centre of attention, answering questions about the project, running through safety procedures and providing tool demonstrations.
It's been a journey, but a worthwhile one, Ms Williams said.
"The feel of the place has changed now, it's light and bright and we now have a space where the children can explore, make discoveries, challenge themselves, take calculated risks, move freely and have fun with friends."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with increased oil exploration?