They came to fix a fence. They ended up repairing the childcare centre’s rotten windows for free

From left: Local builders Dave Linton, Derek Lagaaia and Lawrence Burn have offered to fix the windows of the Crossways Community Crèche windows for free. Also pictured: Crossways' head teacher Julie Peal.

BRUCE MACKAY/Stuff

From left: Local builders Dave Linton, Derek Lagaaia and Lawrence Burn have offered to fix the windows of the Crossways Community Crèche windows for free. Also pictured: Crossways’ head teacher Julie Peal.

Three local builders were called in to fix a fence at a Wellington early childhood centre but they have taken it upon themselves to repair the centre’s ageing window panels – for free.

“We like restoring things,” Dave Linton said. “There are some nice, new, modern designs but this stuff is real carpentry.”

The Crossways Community Creche moved to its current location at Marjoribanks St a decade ago – a villa designed in an arts and crafts style that stood apart from its Victorian-style neighbours – but its signature leadlight windows had been in a “terrible condition”, said head teacher Julie Peal​.

“The roof was leaking onto the window so it was rotting the window frames,” she said. “The sills had holes in it and it was rotten.”

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Builder Derek Lagaaia works on clearing away the rotted window sills and framing and putting in new insulation.

BRUCE MACKAY/Stuff

Builder Derek Lagaaia works on clearing away the rotted window sills and framing and putting in new insulation.

It was a huge financial headache for the non-profit organisation because fixing it would take a large chunk of the budget and the centre was looking to build a new playground.

Then along came Linton​ and his crew, Derek Lagaaia​ and Lawrence Burn.​

In May when a truck knocked down a gum tree and took out the education centre’s fence, the insurance company arranged for Linton to repair it.

He had a look at the rotting sill and offered to fix it without any charge.

So far, the crew had spent three days working on it, replacing the rotted window sills and building framing, putting in new insulation and new coating on the window capping as part of an immediate solution to stop more water from seeping to the walls.

The next step would be repairing the leadlight window glass panels – because they were starting to crack and sink because of the water damage – before the builders could fix the window frames.

Crossway Community Crèche is based inside a villa designed in an arts and crafts style which stood apart from its Victorian-style neighbours.

BRUCE MACKAY/Stuff

Crossway Community Crèche is based inside a villa designed in an arts and crafts style which stood apart from its Victorian-style neighbours.

“The more I look at it the more I want to do,” Linton said.

Peal said she was “extremely happy” to get some help to fix the windows because they were a favourite for the children.

“The children stand there all the time looking and waving to their mums,” she said. “We want it to be as safe as possible for them.”

The centre planned to apply for a grant from the Wellington City Council to pay for fixing the glass panels.

“It’s got a beautiful history and we’re proud of it,” Peal said.



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