Centre 'a dream come true'

Hamilton Girls' High School is home to a new $5 million arts centre, also to be shared with the local community, after it was officially opened by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae yesterday.

The arts and cultural centre, gifted its name by local hapu Ngati Mahanga and Ngati Wairere, is called Nga Puawaitanga, or "the blossoming".

Sir Jerry congratulated the school on the centre which he said, "reflects the process of learning and discovery that the centre will encourage".

The centre includes an auditorium, a drama wing including a black box theatre and dance studio and a music wing including a recording suite and performance and practice rooms.

Principal Mary Ann Baxter said the centre, which was a long time coming, was a huge achievement and a dream come true.

The architects, Babbage Consultants, combined the centre with the stairs which were the only remaining part of the original school and with the marae, creating "a stunning central feature as an entrance to our school", she said.

The school will also hire out the complex to members of the local community.

The centre, with a central location on the corners of Tristram and Ward streets, is expected to be open for business at the beginning of next year.

Waikato Times