Spring Makeover for the Grandstandium
On Thursday 22 September, students from Cashmere Primary School will be decorating the Grandstandium at The Commons with
metres of bunting made from up-cycled plastic bags signalling the community’s re-activation of The Commons ready for
Spring and Summer.
Over the space of nearly two months, 27 Year 7 and 8 students from Cashmere Primary School have worked on a ‘Gap Filler’
project, with the help of Te Waka Technology Centre and the Mt Pleasant pottery group, who work out of the Philipstown
Community Hub Te Whare Whānau Whanui.
“Using only recycled plastic bags, we created 20m of decorative bunting. By pressing plastic bags together and ironing
them, we were able to make a material strong enough to turn them into flags and hang them on rope made of woven plastic
bags. This material is also weather resistant. The bunting is decorated with pom-poms, also made of plastic bags and
bells,” says Elizabeth Milne, Cashmere Primary student.
“We have made 60 flowers out of clay and painted them. These flowers will be put up on a display board. We have also
made 120 small sheep and flower brooches. These will be hidden in little packages around The Commons and left for anyone
to take for free in an act of ‘guerrilla kindness’. The gap fillers will be located at The Commons on the corner of
Kilmore St and Durham St, open for all to see. Eventually, the gap fillers will be taken down and moved to Cashmere
Primary School,” [sic] says Madeleine Carter, Cashmere Primary student.
Gap Filler plays a facilitation role at The Commons and seeks to foster a welcoming, ever-evolving community space that
connects people to their inner-city and each other on the site. The initiative is always keen to hear from people and
organisations who would like to hold events or bring projects to the site. Last year Cashmere Primary students built an
obstacle course for The Commons with the help from Te Waka Unua Technology Centre.
A recent makeover of The Commons was done by reseeding the grass, planting trees on the bund, re-vamping the pizza oven
and moving several structures around on-site. Gap Filler’s own projects onsite include the playfully named Retro Sports
Facility, The Grandstandium mini relocatable grandstand (featuring scoreboard and commentary box!) and Gap Golf. Other
stakeholders onsite include Greening the Rubble, RAD Bikes and the Christchurch City Council rain gardens.
The Commons is the former site of the Crowne Plaza hotel and prior to that, home to a range of small shops along
Victoria Street. It’s an area of the city that has a history of markets, food trading and more, for early settlers and
Ngai Tahu. Gap Filler make temporary use of the site under a licence agreement between the owners (CCC) and Life in
Vacant Spaces. The Pallet Pavilion was a volunteer-built community venue and Gap Fillers major project onsite from
November 2012 – April 2014 when it was deconstructed (also by volunteers). The grassed area and Retro Sports Facility
and associated events make use of the footprint where the Pallet Pavilion used to be.
11:00 -11:30am students onsite and opening event