John Bougen said the site was “perfect for an innovative living space.”
The newly renovated ‘Old School Suites’ consists of three two-bedroom apartments, and a one-bedroom apartment.
The apartments average 250 square metres each and retain many of the old school features, while meeting residential requirements.
The school was originally built in 1933 and closed in 2005. Since then it has been used for a variety of purposes, from a Tai Poutini Polytechnic campus to a community gym.
“It’s great to drive past at night seeing the old school lit-up like a Christmas tree and being put to good practical use.
Bougen said, “support from Development West Coast (DWC) enabled us to kick the project off straight away.”
“With a loan from DWC it took the priority of the project from fifth place to first place."
“Within four short months we completed the four apartments, which are already fully tenanted.”
The renovation work used local contractors, such as Buller Coast Floor Sanding, and sourced all materials locally in Buller.
“There is a major accommodation shortage across the West Coast.”
“The shortage in Reefton will shift from critical to crisis in the next year, with Federation Mining expecting to take on another 100 staff.”
Bougen said it was good to see DWC is aware and actively working to address the current situation.
“We look forward to working with them more.”
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