Space needed for new Raglan Playcentre building

Raglan Playcentre needs the community’s help to find a site for a purpose-built, fully equipped facility after plans to lease land at Raglan Area School has fallen through.

“We really need help to find a site. We had a site and it was glorious,” said Raglan Playcentre president Bridget Bull.

But while the school is still the preferred site for the new Playcentre, issues with parking, roading and congestion got in the way and there seems to be no way around it.

Bridget gave a presentation on the need for a new Playcentre building to the Raglan Community Board on Tuesday.

The Playcentre currently runs once a week from the Scout Hall in Cliff St.

“We have outgrown the space,” said Bridget, who also described the trials that came with not having your own facility.

“We have to unpack a shed to set up in the morning. That’s not a big deal unless you are pregnant or have a toddler hanging off you, screaming at you.”

Also the toilets are outside and they can’t hang the kids’ artwork up on the walls.

“We will get more Ministry of Education funding if we have our own premises … and we will be able to deliver a bigger and better service to the community.”

The group has plans for the ministry-approved new purpose-built building that is three times the size of the Scout Hall.

“It will be fully equipped with modern wonders like indoor toilets,” said Bridget, and the plans also include rooms for changing tables and places where babies can sleep.

About 15-20 families use Raglan Playcentre but the new building will be able to cater for more than twice as many families and operate five days a week.

Raglan Playcentre has already raised nearly half of the money for the building with commitments from Playcentre ($300,000), Wel Energy Trust funding ($125,000) and Raglan Lions ($1500).

“We really want ideas for a suitable site,” said Bridget.

Raglan Area School principal Malcolm Cox said the district council could not approve the site for building because there was insufficient car parking.

“The whole thing with car parking put the kaibosh” on the plans, he said.

“It’s a great personal blow to me.”

Inger Vos