Editor: Alexis Ormond is a year 12 student at Havelock North High School. She’s passionate about HNHS getting an upgraded school auditorium. She’s a performer herself, but won’t get to use a new facility as she’ll graduate before it’s finished. All the more impressive that she makes this appeal.]
Havelock North High School is giving the community a unique opportunity to give back to the school, and have their name within it for decades to come.
The school’s well-loved auditorium, which hasn’t been renovated since 1985, is getting a much needed facelift, beginning early next year.
With HNHS’ “Sponsor a Seat” campaign, past, present and future members of the school community have the opportunity to sponsor a seat for a tax deductible donation of $1000. In return, their name (or the text of their choosing, subject to approval by the school) will be engraved in a plaque mounted on the back of a seat.
HNHS has a rich history of a spectacular performing arts department, with past students including tenor Geoff Sewell, opera singer Benson Wilson and actor Cameron Jones.
This year, the department has had great success:
- Their highly popular production of Sweeney Todd drew hundreds to the auditorium,
- All six school bands that entered the Smokefreerockquest competition made it to the regional final,
- Students Josh Folkers and Sasha Currie are part of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, and,
- The recent school music festival saw the school’s bands and choirs put on two nights of spectacular music for the community to enjoy.
Principal Joel Wilton is very passionate about the remodel, stating that “If the school’s performing arts department is so successful already, imagine what they could achieve with an actual theatre to perform in!” The new auditorium will bring theatre-style seating, a reception and foyer area, a large stage and state-of-the-art acoustics for the community to enjoy for years to come.
HNHS currently offers up the auditorium for community events and ceremonies, as well as the many performances the music and drama departments put on, so this project benefits more than just the school – it benefits the wider community of Havelock North.
After drawing up the plans and calculating costs, the school has come to the conclusion that they are half-a-million dollars short in terms of funding. The auditorium is planned to have 250 seats, so if every seat is sponsored, half of the funding they need will be covered. This is crucial in getting the long-awaited project up and running, after years of planning.
Wilton is more than happy to discuss more significant funding options, such as sponsoring an entire row of seats or making a larger contribution for naming rights, but to sponsor a seat, you can visit the school’s website, or alternatively go straight to https://www.sporty.co.nz/viewform/236324.