The Stables Restoration is a project dear to the hearts of many past boarding pupils. As its name suggests, the Stables were initially built to accommodate horses, and many historical features from this usage can still be seen in the buildings which, although used for a plethora of different purposes over many years, have remained remarkably true to their original construction.
With its original decorative features, the opportunity for the creation of light spaces with high ceilings, and sentimental value the building is begging to be salvaged from the ravages of time.
The Stables have been out of use for anything other than storage since the Christchurch quakes and the resultant changes to legislation around earthquake strengthening. The focus of the Stables Project is to upgrade the building to the required level for compliance so that it can once again be harnessed for work in our school.
Service Hill is the latest project to be embarked on by the College and the focus for this is sustainability, conservation and providing continued physical challenge for the young people of our school and local community.
In 2020, the hill was converted from what was essentially a wasted space, to a mountain bike track with the cooperation of local riders and the Oamaru Mountain Bike Club. In 2021, 5000 native trees were planted on the hill by the community to support bird life and stabilize the ground. The future focus for this area is to continue to celebrate those who have served the college and wider community by continuing to plant commemorative trees and maintain and improve the tracks. Service Hill is a challenging mountain bike ride that encourages the physical health of our tamariki. The planting project contributes to the health of our planet and preserves our history through our future.
Standing proud above the school, the Redcastle is a 118 year old homestead originally built by St John McLean Buckley in 1903. The homestead has been synonymous with St Kevin’s College since its beginnings in 1927 and has had a variety of uses over the years including Principal’s accommodation and as a venue for Board Meetings.
The focus for the Redcastle Project is to ensure its continued use by converting the top story into hostel accommodation whilst maintaining the downstairs open spaces for communal functions. We are operating on the principle that old houses, like people, need continued exposure to life and laughter to stay well.
The Redcastle development aims to upgrade this grand old dame to commercial residential standards so that she can continue to play her part as our unyielding symbol of the College.
Equestrian Centre Support
The Equestrian Centre was developed with several objectives in mind: optimising the use of space around the school, catering to the needs of boarding students and creating a point of difference for the international market.
The Equestrian Centre project was a return to the very beginnings of the development of the college community as Equestrian studies were taught at the original girls' school at the Teschmakers site in Oamaru. Incorporating Equestrian Studies at the school has allowed for an expansion of the primary industries curriculum at NCEA levels 2 and 3 at the College. Being able to access horse riding at school has had an appeal for international students who are priced out of the market for these experiences in their own countries and continues to draw interest from students from Germany and Japan.
The Equestrian Centre project is continually expanding as interest in the subject grows and as it provides a return for the college through international and domestic fee paying students. Going forward, the school is hoping to continue to upgrade and develop the facility and build on its momentum.