• Pictured at the Shore Junction premises are: John Anayi, Henry Pivac, Antoine Ellis and Councillor Richard Hills.

STEAMing ahead with a Junction for the Shore’s youth

On Thursday 26 July, from 12-2.30pm, Takapuna’s youth innovation centre Shore Junction holds a ladies’ fundraiser lunch to raise awareness of (and funds for) the Shore Junction project among women living north of the bridge.

Melanie Barr, Shore Junction’s community director, promises fantastic auction items, alongside a raffle, with all proceeds from the lunch going towards the first group of programmes at Shore Junction.

Auckland Council handed over the lease of the former Takapuna RSA to Shore Junction in 2016. With architectural floor plans completed, the building has been completely gutted to allow for renovation to meet Shore Junction’s specific requirements to begin. Because minimal structural work is required, renovations should be completed and Shore Junction ready to open in February 2019 for the beginning of the academic year. “Renovations start in August,” Melanie says, “so at present the building looks a little bare bones!”

“The design has developed from our earlier concepts,” she adds. “As we received feedback from young people and from community members who are experts in their fields we have made some tweaks to ensure the building is functional and has the best design layout from day one.  Shore Junction is for youth, by youth, so we have worked closely with designated youth advisors, youth volunteers and the YOUnite local youth board to ensure the building delivers on their expectations.

“Through the design of the building, we have identified different focus areas that young people can use depending on their skills and interests. The great thing about the design is that as technology, science, engineering and the arts develop, Shore Junction can evolve alongside developments in these fields.”

Concept designs have been driven by five key pillars, encompassing the subject fields STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), business and enterprise, culture, and community, complementing the school curriculum. “All Shore Junction’s programmes, events, workshops and activities will focus on these areas, so the building needs to reflect how those subjects would ‘look’ to our audience.”

Other key considerations throughout the design process were:

  • Safety. There will be top quality security, and experienced staff in the youth field will be onsite during opening hours.
  • Accessibility. The location was selected for its access by bus routes and as a central hub. The team is also working closely with YES Disability Resource Centre to ensure all equipment will be accessible by all visitors. Shore Junction will house technology, computers, and tablets that all visitors can use, so members will not require any sort of equipment to achieve their goals.
  • Affordability. Membership of Shore Junction will be free for any young person between the ages of 13 to 24.

Young people will have 6am to 8pm daily access to the building. Learning about the equipment, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, soldering equipment and sewing machines etc., will all be part of their membership. To fully access the equipment independently and have the freedom and flexibility to work on projects independently and confidently members will need to attend workshops in how to properly and safely use the equipment.

“Young people will access Shore Junction not only to develop their interests and skill sets in various subjects; they will also start to grow their own network of peers. School and university students will interact, network and build their own community in a safe environment and with like-minded individuals,” says Melanie.

Shore Junction recently hosted tours of the building for young people, and throughout the week more than 200 young people from the Shore visited the building. “The enthusiasm for a space dedicated to their future was astounding,” says Melanie. “The young people immediately identified the potential of the space for them as individuals and as school groups.”

While the space is dedicated for use by young people on the North Shore, members of the wider community will also be welcomed, says Melanie. “As we grow, we want to develop a space that not only helps forge the pathways to success of our young people, but also provide a STEAM space for established businesses and community members in the area.”

Shore Junction Ladies’ Fundraising lunch, Regatta Bar and Eatery, Takapuna, Thursday 26th July, 12-2.30pm

Tickets $100 per person. Book by contacting Melanie Barr on mel@shorejunction.nz

More info about Shore Junction at www.shorejunction.nz