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David Evans to retire

Regulus Address // Issue 3 // November 2021

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When David Evans took up the position of General Manager at St Andrew’s College in December 2000, he couldn’t have imagined that he would have a key role in helping to guide the College through one of the most transformational periods of its long history.

“I was part of a large team that got the campus up and running again within four weeks of the February 2011 earthquake and then completed a challenging and complex repair programme. Over the last seven years I’ve also had the privilege of project managing $110 million worth of capital works on the campus. I’m really proud of what we have achieved over the last few years, and the fact that the College is now in such great heart.”

David is preparing to retire from the General Manager’s role at the end of 2021, but his experience and expertise won’t be completely lost to the College. Next year, he will work part-time – to project manage the Gough Family Theatre development. “I’m very pleased to be able to stay on to manage this complicated, and very specific project, which is the largest of any in our capital works strategy to date. It will be great to bring it to fruition.”

David has enjoyed being part of the Executive team at St Andrew’s College, and says the strong leadership from Rector Christine Leighton and the Board, is key to the strong position the College finds itself in today. “Post-earthquake, the message was ‘get in there and do what needs to be done and we’ll support you’. That confidence and support meant we could start rebuilding very quickly.”

Over the last decade, property development and capital works have been the most significant part of David’s diverse role, which also includes people management, administration, finance, Health and Safety, business development, providing oversight for Castle Hill property, and previously the College farm. David is also the Board Secretary. “The General Manager’s role is highly people focused. I’ve been fortunate to build good quality relationships with a lot of people over the last 21 years, from our consultants and construction companies, to students, teachers, parents, and staff. It’s the most satisfying part of the job for me.”

David particularly enjoys the cultural side of life at St Andrew’s. He was part of the Staff Barbershop, took a key role in the Amahl and the Night Visitors opera in the Centennial Chapel a couple of years ago, and tries to attend as many assemblies, events, and cultural opportunities as possible. “It’s all hugely enjoyable, keeps me connected, and I’m continually amazed at the incredible talent of our young people.”

David says his focus as General Manager has been to find a way around a challenge, rather than be put off by it. “This is a very meaningful job. I’ve always believed that its main purpose is to serve the College, and to provide the best possible teaching and learning environment for our students and staff.”

Looking at the campus now, with its impressive buildings and picturesque environment, anchored by historic Strowan House and the multi award-winning Centennial Chapel, it is no wonder that David is proud of the legacy he will be leaving. “The campus looks amazing, and it has been a real privilege to be part of the large team of people who made it happen. St Andrew’s College has such a good reputation and is a place that people want to come to. For me, it is a way of life really.”

David is preparing to retire from the General Manager’s role at the end of 2021, but his experience and expertise won’t be completely lost to the College.