Topic: NPGHS Preparatory School/Music Room (1923)

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NPGHS Preparatory School 2017

2017 View: By Hamish Crimp

This wooden building was constructed in 1923, and originally housed the NPGHS Preparatory School.

The first discussion regarding the housing of the NPGHS preparatory department in a separate building seems to have occurred at the January 1922 meeting of the New Plymouth High School Board of Governors. It was noted at this meeting that the department was paying its way, and that there was no reason why they shouldn’t have their own rooms.

There was general agreement that “a simple two-roomed building which would be in keeping with the rest of the school but without unnecessary architectural embellishment…” would be adequate to house the Preparatory School.

It took over a year for plans to materialise, with noted New Plymouth architect Thomas Herbert Bates calling for tenders for the erection of the NPGHS Preparatory School in late March 1923. A permit was granted by the Borough Council on 13 June 1923 for the construction of the building – Coleman & Son were the builders, and the estimated construction cost was £800.

The 1924 NPGHS Magazine noted that the new building was completed at the end of 1923, and tables and chairs provided at the beginning of 1924. The building had an open fire place which was much appreciated by students. However, the new classroom seemed somewhat bare without any pictures on the wall, so a concert with a sixpence entrance fee was held by the students – enough money was raised to purchase two or three pictures with which the room was made “pleasant and comfortable”.

The building was originally located behind the original 1916 block, and can be seen at this location in a panoramic photograph of the school taken soon after construction was complete in late 1923 (Puke Ariki Collection, A.2B.158). The building was relocated to its present position in 1959 to enable the construction of the present hall, which opened the following year.

See Taranaki Herald, 17 January 1922, page 2; Taranaki Herald, 31 March 1923, page 7; New Plymouth Girls High School Magazine and Prospectus, No. 9, Vol XII, September 1924

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NPGHS Preparatory School/Music Room (1923)

City:New Plymouth