Old School Arts Centre building project nears completion after 11 years

When Raglan Old School Arts Centre committee sat down with community members in 2013 to discuss the possibility of building a new home for their increasingly popular pottery classes they had little idea they were looking at an 11-year, $560,000 project.

 The project eventuated in the Art Centre’s Creative Space and Clay Shed building which is due for completion at the end of May with the installation of an accessibility lift.

The ground-floor Clay Shed now sports two kilns while the first floor Creative Space, with its stage, lighting, sound panels and tiered seating, is in demand by diverse community groups – everything from yoga classes to drama groups and the popular Live and Local music concerts. 

The installation of the lift ensures no-one in the community should be excluded from the upstairs activities.

However, with spiralling costs, the project committee is again fundraising – this time for $4000 to complete lift shaft work.

Raglan Community Arts Council committee chair Rodger Gallagher said it is hoped benefactors and art lovers might consider buying a personalized fund raising brick for $300. The bricks, with the donor’s names engraved, will be permanently placed around the building.  

Rodger said from its start in 2013 the building is an example of community planning backed by support from small and large donors.

“A multi-year structured funding and construction approach is then possible starting with feasibility, followed by the many hurdles arising that are necessary to jump. Finally, the reward comes in seeing our local community using the facility every day.”

The first sod of the project was turned in 2018 and the building blessed in a dawn ceremony in January 2020.

If you would like to donate to see the project to completion please go to https://www.raglanartscentre.co.nz/brick-by-brick/ or call into the Old School office on weekdays.

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