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New Building Meets Trade Training Needs

June 28, 2010

Purpose designed and equipped with state-of-the-art teaching technology, EIT Hawke’s Bay’s newest building reflects an innovative approach to trades training on the Taradale campus. 

Although the $7-million building will not be completed for several months yet, training facilities were ready for the first intake of students at the start of the academic year.  Under construction are administrative offices, a reception area, staff facilities, meeting rooms, a dedicated computer area, and further classrooms.

The building is a strong presence on its greenfields site at the western end of the EIT campus.

Ribbed metal cladding and concrete slab walls are appropriate to its industrial purpose. 

A massive garage door opening onto the carpentry workshop would not be out of place on an aircraft hangar and allows cottages, built undercover by students as part of their course training, to be wheeled to an outside work bay as required.    

Lofty interior spaces provide for under-ceiling services such as fluorescent lighting, radiators for heating and ducting to remove fumes from welding work. 

Open plan workshop areas for electrical engineering, engineering and welding, automotive engineering, carpentry and collision repair are clearly defined with metal wire screens.  “Pathways”, denoted by coloured lines on the building’s concrete floor, help promote a safe working environment.

Work areas are clutter-free, with vertically racked bins for storing projects.  Shots of primary colour lend a lively air to the building’s hi-tech interior. 

Classrooms are created as noise-insulated teaching zones along one wall, while a “bunker room” located in the centre of the building provides a breakout space for shorter learning sessions.

An area currently being used as a temporary office is to become a dedicated computer area once the final building stage is completed.  In the meantime, computers are set up in the automotive area.

A growing interest in trades and technology training and a different mode of teaching triggered EIT’s decision for a new-build rather than a remodelling of campus facilities constructed in the early 1970s.

Chief executive Chris Collins says the original workshops were designed for the traditional mode of teaching specific trades skills in a classroom setting.

“Several years ago, our carpentry programmes spearheaded a move to project-oriented learning, and this highly successful teaching approach has since been bedded in for our other trades and technology programmes.”

The new teaching method called for a different learning environment, Mr Collins said. 

“Our existing facilities have served us well, but we needed the additional space and more features to support the different teaching and learning style.  This new building is also providing certificate-level students with a more realistic industrial-type environment.”

Providing 50 percent more floor area, the Trades and Technology block is sited between the Tourism & Hospitality and the Food and Wine buildings.

It meets rigorous environmental design and operational standards, complying with EIT’s commitment to sustainability.  “Future-proofed”, the new facility will meet educational needs for the next 30 years.

Mr Collins said student enrolments reflected EIT’s increasingly significant role in trades and technology training.  Youth Guarantee placements were concentrated in this area of learning. 

The existing trades and technology building is to be “recycled”.  After remodelling, it will be used for other activity within the institute.