Children at Auckland’s Waterview Primary School this week left their special mark today on New Zealand’s largest ever roading project – the NZ Transport Agency’s Waterview Connection.
The pupils used their artistic talents to create a mural for a noise wall that shields their school from the construction site used by their Well-Connected Alliance neighbours, who are building the Waterview motorway tunnels for the Transport Agency.
The decorative noise wall was unveiled yesterday at a special ceremony involving the children, kaumātua from Ngati Whatua, and officials from the Well-Connected Alliance (the Transport Agency, Fletchers, McConnell Dowell, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Obayashi, Beca, and Tonkin&Taylor). After a blessing from kaumātua, each of the children touched the wall as part of the unveiling ceremony.
“The mural is going to be a great source of pride for our children as they pass it on their way to school and also out on Great North Road. It has turned out so well we plan to feature the original multimedia mural on the premises of our new school when it’s completed,” says the school’s principal, Brett Skeen. “Our students have really enjoyed creating the mural and I’d like to thank the Well-Connected Alliance for coming up with the idea and assisting us with the creation of the mural. They are the best neighbours we have ever had.”
Local artist Mandy Patmore worked with teachers to develop the mural’s theme, My Waterview. She helped create the mural’s backdrop, and teachers worked with their classes on the individual tiles bordering the mural.
The artistic makeover of the noise wall has impressed the Well-Connected Alliance.
“Occasions such as these are very rewarding for us as the children have turned our noise walls into a work of art. One of our aims is to give back to the communities we work in and I think this is a fine example of how we have done so,” says the Alliance’s project manager, John Burden.
Waterview School has had to be relocated for the $1.4b Waterview Connection project. Children are being taught in temporary classrooms until building starts next year on their new and permanent school.
The Waterview Connection will link the Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways (State Highways 16 and 20) to complete the Western Ring Route, one of the Government’s roads of national significance to help promote economic growth, and improve safety and journey reliability for drivers. The project includes twin 4.5km-long tunnels, both three lanes wide, between Waterview and Owairaka. The tunnels are planned to open in early 2017.