It’s waste not want not at Queenstown’s old Wakatipu High School site.
Ryal Bush Demolition began ripping the Gorge Road/Fryer Street school apart at the end of June.
Project manager Russell Clouston says they should be all done by the end of this month – and 90-95 per cent of the waste will have been recycled, repurposed or rehomed.
“Our job’s to knock things down and get rid of it, but it’s really how you get rid of it, I suppose.
“There are a lot of problems with waste management and there are not going to be holes [landfills] around forever.
“The more we can keep out, the better it is to our way of thinking.”
Before demolition began, other schools in the Wakatipu got first dibs on anything they’d like, then locals had three weeks to go in and nab what was left.
Some 200 unwanted school desks went south to Ruru Specialist School in Invercargill, transported by Ryal Bush, and the old gymnasium seating and a climbing wall found a new home at Central Southland College, in Winton.
Rubbish bins were coll-ected for pest control group Trap and Train Southland, for use in carparks, and the former school’s nine pre-fabs have all found new homes.
The last of those hit the road on Monday night, heading to a Southland farm, likely to be used for accommodation.
Others went to Twizel, Winton, Invercargill and other places around the region, also to be retrofitted for housing.
“There’s 800 tonnes of waste in those … buildings [but] we’ve managed to find another home for them,” Clouston says.
Additionally, about 300 tonnes of scrap metal is being recycled – and 10,000 tonnes of concrete is being crushed, screened and stored on site to be used in future infrastructure, like carparks and roadways, for Ngai Tahu Property’s planned development.
“It saves digging up more of the rivers and bringing it in,” Clouston says.
In October, Housing Minister Megan Woods announced a partnership between the government and Ngai Tahu Property – the latter’s planning a 350-unit development on the site, dubbed Te Pa Tahuna, of which 105 will be apartments and terraced housing under the Kiwi-Build scheme.
Those will likely sell for about $650,000.
Subdivision consent was lodged in August, but the design process is still under way.
Ngai Tahu Property boss David Kennedy says they’re asking people to give them some feedback on what they’d expect to see in a new home, and in the dev-elopment.
“To date we’ve had higher than expected levels of interest with hundreds of members of the community responding.
“We plan to release more information as we begin marketing and building the first apartments next year.”
They’re hoping the first apartments will be ready in 2022.