Temple View's Church College buildings are coming down to make way for housing

Some of the buildings which used to make up Temple View's Church College, on the outskirts of Hamilton, are coming down to make way for a housing development.

It used to be the heart of Waikato's Church College, but now it's making way for a housing project.

When the college was at Temple View, on the edge of Hamilton, the David O McKay building had many functions: cafe, student centre, sports complex.

But the school closed in 2009, many of its other buildings have gone, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approval for a new use of the land.

It plans to fill the site with houses - about 200, but numbers will depend on the mix of retirement and general housing. And it won't be limited to Mormons.

"We may not see this fully developed for, who knows, 20 years, depending on what the interest is," Temple View project director Paul Coward said.

"[It's] market-driven. We're not going to build the whole place out and then say, buy it."

The first homes will be built on the end of the site that's furthest from Hamilton.

The Mormon church will develop the sections and sell them, but will keep land prices low, Coward said.

Across the road, where former teachers' homes were demolished, sections cost about $120,000.

On Hamilton's north end, you could pay $400,000 for a section of the same size, he said.

"The house, of course, is not up to us. We're not builders."
Temple View - where the former Church College was - is being developed further to make room for about 200 houses. The exact number will depend on the retirement/residential mix.
However, there will be covenants setting out things like desired colours and the look and feel of the homes.

Seeing the old Church College buildings go brings mixed feelings because of all the associated memories, Coward said.

In his words, no one is standing out the front clapping, but neither has anyone knocked on his office door to express extreme upset.

The McKay building has a B-ranking for heritage, but Coward says it's the only heritage building on the site to be removed.

Memorabilia from the school - including old uniforms and the basketball jump circle - has been collected into a museum on-site.

And affordable housing was one of the top demands during community consultation, so that's why it's the focus of the project.

The church won't say how much money is going into it, but past reports have pegged it at tens of millions.

"It's not an inexpensive proposition, put it that way," Coward said.

"But, again, the motive is not financial ... This is part of that putting back into the community and making land available for housing."

Knocking down the McKay building will take another month or so, he said, then it will be the turn of the administration block, where his office is.

"Then they're able to shape the earth and make it ready for development of, primarily, housing."

There will also be a small retail area, hopefully with a superette and other shops, such as a chemist and hairdresser, and a medical centre.

Expressions of interest have already come in for the retail area, Coward said.

Several builders are also interested in constructing the homes and people have registered interest in sections.

And you don't have to be Mormon to live there.

The site already has Legacy Park, which was finished in June 2017 and is open to the public.

Other completed parts of the project include building a new church meeting house called a Stake Centre, and restoring heritage buildings such as the George R Biesinger Hall and the Kai Hall.

From Stuff.co.nz