Plans for a third kindergarten in Flaxmere were announced in February 1976, after a section was to be made available next to lrongate School in Walton Way. Messrs Flaus, Sanko and Unwin were asked to organise an establishment committee. This was formed in March 1976, and the kindergarten would be known as lrongate.
The kindergarten was planned to be opened later in 1976, and by April an application was made to have lrongate Kindergarten placed on the Government building waiting list.
Fundraising continued throughout 1976, with shrubs being sold, and firewood chopped and delivered. 295
News was received in February 1977 that the Government had given permission to build lrongate Kindergarten as soon as plans were approved by the Hawke’s Bay Education Board. Some delays in finalising plans, which were to be standardised for all kindergartens in New Zealand, were greeted with a sigh of relief as the establishment committee needed more time to raise funds for the building.
The cost of building lrongate Kindergarten‘s premises was approximately $50,000 – of which $10,000 had to be supplied to the Hawke’s Bay Education Board before tenders were accepted. A shortfall of $3,000 existed, and similar to Ellen Stevenson Kindergarten, funds were borrowed from the other kindergartens to cover this deficit.
The second public meeting in regard to lrongate Kindergarten was held on 7 March 1978. Parents enrolled their children at this meeting, and at the third to follow in April.
Hastings last free kindergarten – lrongate – was opened on 16 July 1978.