The 1970s saw the translation of Waipu District High School into Bream Bay College, and a move from its traditional home at Waipu to the new location in Ruakaka. The new school was to be built to the S68 design by Jack Guy Ltd at a cost of $724,121. The roll of the new Form 1 – 7 school was expected to be 370 students.
After two years on the old Argyle St site, equipment was moved to Ruakaka ready for the start of the 1974 academic year. It therefore came as a shock to find that the buildings were not completed. Toilets had no doors, there was exposed electrical wiring, and water was not connected. The Art and Craft block was still being built. After a series of meetings, it was decided to delay the start of the academic year until 11 February.
Despite the noise and dust, lessons commenced as teachers and students learned to adapt to the conditions. By the end of the year, construction was completed and work commenced on planting trees and shrubs to provide shelter and shade, as well as to beautify the barren, sandy site. Additional buildings were added over the next few years. An Administration Block and Science laboratory were completed in 1977, and an Engineering workshop was added in 1978. The first of the temporary prefabs arrived in 1974 – some are still there 30 years later.
The strong community support for Waipu District High School continued at Bream Bay College. The PTA, under the leadership of George Phiskie, went about raising funds for a 25 metre pool which was completed in 1976. Waipu Lions also provided a new Tuck Shop.
A new uniform was selected for Bream Bay College. The gym frocks, caps and berets were abolished and replaced by a uniform with brown, white and gold being the main colours. The maroon blazer was replaced by a black windbreaker.
In 1975, Mr Craymer organised a week long trip around the South Island for Form 5 and 7 Geography students. This was to be the first of many wide ranging trips that Bream Bay College students would participate in over the next 30 years.
Bream Bay College School Council 1974
Bream Bay College Prefects 1974