Canopy for bulging school

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - ELESHA ED­MONDS

An Auck­land pri­mary school is look­ing for $600,000 for an out­door canopy to help ac­com­mo­date their grow­ing roll.

Maun­gawhau School in Mt Eden is plan­ning to build a large cov­ered out­door learn­ing area over the school’s net­ball courts in the next 24 months. It will be sim­i­lar to West­lake Girls High School’s out­door sports fa­cil­ity.

The UV proof canopy will be the big­gest in the cen­tral Auck- land area, mea­sur­ing up to 34m wide.

The school’s board has also opted for a multi-pur­pose soft cush­ion sur­face rather than ar­ti­fi­cial turf.

The de­ci­sion to build comes as the school strug­gles with a grow­ing roll and lit­tle us­able out­door space.

Prin­ci­pal De­la­nee Dale says the school’s hall is ‘‘bulging at the seams’’ and they are un­able to com­fort­ably fit their 640 stu­dents into the hall for assem­bly.

The school has also been strug­gling with flooded sports fields which have been mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to run any sports pro­grammes.

‘‘Our field has re­ally poor drainage and is of­ten flooded in term two and three,’’ Dale says.

The cov­ered area will also al­low the school’s 19 net­ball teams to train in all types of weather.

There are plans to in­stall light­ing and an out­door sound sys­tem which will cre­ate the po­ten­tial for con­certs to be held un­der the can- opy in the fu­ture.

Dale says the board has in­formed par­ents of the plans but are yet to make con­tact with the school’s neigh­bours.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion will not fund the project so Maun­gawhau School needs to come up with $600,000 to help cover the build costs.

The school board has com­mit­ted to pay for one-third of the costs while it’s hoped the ma­jor­ity of the funds will be sourced from grants.

Fundrais­ing events such as science-a-thons, sausage siz­zles, quiz nights, auc­tions and raf­fles will also be held through­out the year.

Louise May, from the school’s fundrais­ing com­mit­tee, says their an­nual fair will be the most sig­nif­i­cant event. The Maun­gawhau School Fair has been held ev­ery year since 1941 and has be­come a pop­u­lar com­mu­nity event.

This year’s fair will be held at the school on Oc­to­ber 15 from 11am till 3pm.

ELESHA ED­MONDS / FAIR­FAX NZ

Lu­cas Thein, 6, Cara May, 5, Tris­tan Thein, 6, and Rocco Hrstic, 6, are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a new play area.

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