After years of planning and fundraising the Kapiti Performing Arts Centre is finally taking shape and with it another drive for support from the local community.
Over the last few weeks Raumati residents have watched concrete panels being rapidly erected which fundraisers say has led to a surge in interest in seat and room sponsorship.
The $10million centre is the most significant new public building project for Kāpiti in years with two theatres seating up to 500 guests, classrooms, a dance studio and a large multi-purpose foyer.
Kāpiti Performing Arts Group chair Cas Carter says there has been renewed interest in supporting the venue since building has started.
“I think it is only now that the size and scale of the Centre can be seen that people are starting to understand the significance of this venue for the whole community not just the College, which is why Kāpiti District Council and Lotteries have supported it.
We’ve also received fantastic help from community groups such as the Paraparaumu Rotary Club, Lions and the Kāpiti Music Centre as well as private companies like Goodmans and Coastlands.
We are currently running another campaign for seat and room sponsorship and we’ve sold well over half of the seat sponsorships already. People are telling us they’re seeing the benefit of having their name on something that will be around for generations to come.
However they are still seeking support from more organisations, businesses and families with just under $800,000 still needed.
Ms Carter says a delay in the steel arriving held up the construction after the foundations were laid but now the building is emerging quickly.
“The steel portals will all be up over the next week, then the seating slabs will arrive and the rear of the theatre will be closed in. By the end of the year there will be a building with a roof on it.”
Erecting the building has been complicated by height restrictions as it is in the wider airport fly path.
“We have a rather large crane being used to erect the Centre and while our builders have been working with airport authorities to minimise disruption, because of the flights, the crane has had to be idle sometimes during the day.’
The Centre is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019.
“We’ve already had numerous enquiries from artists throughout New Zealand who want to perform here. This will be a Centre of an international standard and we will be actively marketing it as a venue to both New Zealand and international acts. We can hardly wait. “