Nearly 3 years after a December 2009 meeting of BLENNZ, ASC Architects, Hawkins Construction and Ministry of Education officials, at which the design and construction of the new school for the blind was initiated, we are fully operational and greatly looking forward to the official opening of the new buildings by the Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata, on Thursday 17 May at 11.30am.
The opening will be attended by the national cohort of BLENNZ teachers from around the country who will come together with their colleagues based at Homai Campus. The Homai Campus students and more than 200 BLENNZ staff will be joined for the opening ceremonies by invited guests including representatives from parents, the blindness education sector, the Ministry of Education, ERO, Members of Parliament, ASC Architects, Hawkins Construction, and others who have a significant association with the school.
The opening of the new school marks a watershed in the history of blindness education in New Zealand. The Ministry of Education and respective Ministers are to be commended for their foresight in 2009 in approving the funding to demolish the former campus buildings and replace them with new state-of-the-art buildings, purpose designed and built to reflect the current very different and inclusive approaches to blindness education and the very different structures and services provided from Homai Campus to support students nationally.