On Friday 7 April, the Sacred Heart College ‘School of Imagination’ was blessed by Bishop Patrick Dunn DD following a stirring Powhiri from the College Kapa Haka group. Designed by Jasmax Architects, this beautiful new building incorporates a Knowledge Centre, Music suites and individual music lesson roomsa Digital Recording Studio and a 250 seat Performing Arts Theatre.
The Digital Recording Studio will allow the teaching of NCEA Level 3 Song Writing which has been accredited this year by NZQA. Mike Chunn (Old Boy of the college and head of Play it Strange) has been instrumental in getting this course approved by NZQA.
Mike was present at the official opening along with other prominent Old Boys Peter Urlich and Rikki Morris. During the opening ceremony, Rikki and the late Ian Morris, were inducted onto the college’s Arts Honours Board along with musician Bernie Allen, sculptor Denis O’Connor and cartoonist Keith Waite (deceased). They join 17 previous inductees, with famous musicians Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Mike Chunn and Peter Urlich, photographer Peter Bush, pianist Jeffrey Grice, broadcaster – the late Frank Torley and artist Milan Mrkusich to name a few.
Mr Warren Long, speaking on behalf of the Proprietor, thanked the many individuals involved in the design, building and financing of this huge project. Bishop Patrick Dunn then formally declared the building open.
Guest singers, The Shades (featuring Old Boy Ipu Laga’aia) and Marlena Devoe added outstanding musical interludes. To end the proceedings, Rikki performed a moving tribute to his brother Ian, singing an acoustic version of Nobody Else to a packed auditorium of 1200 students and over 200 invited guests.
The School of Imagination will celebrate the rich tradition of the arts at Sacred Heart and provide current students with a platform where they can express themselves and develop their uniqueness through song writing, composition and artistic performance.