Woolston campus

Trades render

Construction and refurbishment work at Woolston campus is progressing well. We are working closely with government and industry partners to create modern, flexible learning environments that mirror industry environments and facilitate flexible learning. 

There has been a shift in trades training to better integrate theory and practice - and that's good news for learners.

Ara is moving from teaching long classroom-based theory sessions, to students having shorter, more frequent theory sessions in the new workshop and then practicing what they have learned.

This makes the learning more meaningful and at Ara we know that our students would rather be using their hands than sitting for long periods of time. To support these changes we've also posted material online and into videos to make students' learning more interesting and available on demand. 

Recognising this role, the government has contributed $18.9m to supporting new buildings, upgrading existing spaces and professional development at the Woolston campus.

Ara has a special role to play in the rebuild of Christchurch and the institute wants to make sure all Cantabrians have the opportunity to train in specialised facilities, become skilled workers and contribute to the regional economy. Alongside the Campus Master Plan work, we have introduced fee-free training for:

  • Māori and Pasifika students
  • Youth pathways
  • Women in Trades

Developments at Woolston campus include:

Refurbishment of V Block

The refurbishment of V Block, in line with all the developments at the Woolston Campus, reflects a new-generation of trades training delivery which blends trades training theory with practical application in the workshops and offers more flexible spaces for online and technology enhanced learning.

Trades open plan office space 

The refurbishment transforms the former facilities into a new computer lab, a new Electrical lab, a wallpapering room, two flexible learning spaces with new audio visual equipment, a light board room and new meeting rooms. The lecture theatre is being upgraded with enhanced technology and other operational improvements.  

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Refurbishment of VP Barn

Refurbishment to the existing VP Barn starts soon.

VE Block extension now complete

CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) conducted a ceremony to prepare the building for use on 3 July 2015 ahead of students returning for semester 2 on 20 July. The new spaces are designed to be flexible to support more innovative delivery of trades training with greater use of technology and workshop-based theory.

VE Block 

The 1000m2 extension to VE Block includes four new flexible seminar rooms, with an open collaborative learning space for students, a speciality Enamel Painting room, the 760 m2 Trade Hall, a flexible space that will initially be used for painting and a 380 m2 storage area for the whole campus.

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VC Barn and VP barn extension now complete

Two new trades buildings at Ara reflect a new generation of trades training delivery. The buildings were blessed with a karakia on 5 November 2014 by Te Puna Wanaka Manager Hemi Hoskins, followed by a mihi (welcome) from the then Head of Trades, Mike Field, and a BBQ lunch for staff.

Trades BBQ 

The new buildings, a carpentry barn and extension to the plumbing barn, add over 1000m2 of trades training space as Ara responds to the need to train more skilled workers for Canterbury.

The current building construction and upgrading facilities is integrated with new-generation trades training delivery.

Both new buildings support the use of mobile resources that essentially bring the classroom to the workshop and integrate theory with practice, helping students to learn at their own pace and spend more time practising their trades skills and learning from their tutors' industry experience. This helps students graduate ready for current industry conditions and with the skills that employers need.

'Heartspace' landscaped area

The 'Heartspace' landscaped outdoor area is still in planning.