Boarding has always been a huge part of life at St Andrew's College. When the earthquakes closed all three of our accommodation blocks, some quick thinking was required, and the answer surprised many of us – motels.
For two years, most of our boarders lived in motels on Papanui Road and Bealey Avenue, with the junior girls relocating to Selwyn House School. The motels provided a warm and safe place to sleep, but they couldn't cater for the communal aspect of boarding – eating, working and socialising together.
So, all boarders' meals were cooked and served on campus, in a big marquee, summer and winter. Supervised evening study sessions were also held at the College. This made for long days, with the boarders typically leaving their motels around 7.00am and not returning until well after 8.00pm. However, it also meant that the students continued to enjoy the benefits and friendships of boarding life in the time-honoured StAC tradition.
Meanwhile, MacGibbon and Thompson Houses were demolished, and Rutherford House was repaired and renamed MacGibbon. In March 2013, the new houses were formally opened by the Right Honourable John Key, the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the St Andrew's boarding spirit returned to campus full-time and stronger than ever.