New College building nearing completion

New College building nearing completion
The new Waimea College performing arts room includes a sprung wooden floor, responsive to the demanding needs of the school’s performers.

From the laying of foundation to the final finishing touches, Waimea College’s brand new performing arts room is set for handover in early September, in time for the end-of-year grand performance.
Lead contractors, respected Nelson based builder Fitzgerald Construction Ltd, was awarded the contract in December last year by Waimaea College’s Board of Trustees, following a robust and competitive tendering process.
With a total floor area of 232sqm, the new purpose built building will include a sprung wooden floor, responsive to the demanding needs of the school’s performers, a mezzanine floor housing sound and lighting control rooms, a five metre high ceiling, storeroom and changing room facilities.
Adjoining a much smaller building currently used for performing arts, the new building will feature a mixture of long run colour steel, hardy board and brick for exterior cladding.
Fitzgerald Construction’s quantity surveyor Paul Watts says safety is paramount when completing work during school time, with site access strictly limited to building crew and all materials delivered out of school time.
With a history stretching back twenty years, the construction company established by managing director Stephen Fitzgerald has earned a trusted reputation for its quality craftsmanship, integrity and attention to detail from project planning to delivery.
“Our repeat clients would be our biggest testimony,” says the company’s accounts and administration manager Belinda Taggart.
“People come back to us again and again and again. We make sure that there are no surprises at the end of the build by keeping the client informed at every step in the project.”
Now employing a team of 35 operating from their Nelson premises, Fitzgerald Construction boasts six foremen, five apprentices and a large number of carpentry tradesmen, many of them long standing with the company. “Steve is really good at putting apprentices through,” explains Belinda.
“One of our builders has been with us for 19 years, doing his trade straight from school, and another one of the guys has been here for 18 years. As the company has built up, more staff have joined and generally they stay. We don’t have a high staff turn over because we’re looked after and valued.”
With a geographic reach spanning Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and the West Coast, Fitzgerald Construction’s range of work is just as diverse.
No job too big or too small – Belinda says the business will do anything from a small bathroom fit-out to big commercial builds, building renovations, alterations and seismic strengthening.
“We have one guy going around doing little jobs from day-to-day – like fixing a leaking shower or repairing a roof to installing a new shelf.
“Then we do multi-million dollar commercial projects, high-end residential projects as well as the more standard residential projects. We’re doing a lot of seismic work at the moment.”
Belinda says the company’s thorough and methodical approach to planning is a key strength and is one of the most crucial stages in the building process.
“Our motto is plan well and build better—we’re proactive, look forward, problem solve and deliver great results.”
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