Par­ents pitch in for play­ground

North Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - AMY BAKER

It’s been any­thing but a quiet hol­i­day for a school play­ground get­ting a spruce up be­fore the begin­ning of term.

Par­ents from the group, Friends of Coatesville School, have given a ‘‘new lease of life’’ to the play­ground at Coatesville School, which faced an un­cer­tain fu­ture with­out re­pairs or re­place­ment.

Re­place­ment cost of the play­ground was es­ti­mated at around $80 - 90,000. How­ever, the DIY work par­ents have put in has brought the cost down to just $1500.

Coatesville School prin­ci­pal Richard John­son said the work had been a ‘‘mas­sive’’ sav­ing of school funds and a huge boost to play ar­eas within the school.

‘‘The school is in­debted to this amaz­ing group of hard­work­ing, mo­ti­vated par­ents who co­or­di­nated all the labour and ex­per­tise re­quired to come and re­vi­talise our play­ground for a frac­tion of the cost of a new one,’’ he said.

‘‘They also sourced the re­quired ma­te­ri­als from Mitre 10 Mega Al­bany, who showed tremen­dous sup­port for our school.’’

More than 30 peo­ple have helped at the two work­ing bees so far, with one more planned.

As two new play ar­eas were in­stalled in the school in 2016, the cost to re­place the old play­ground - which is around 20-years-old would have been ‘‘pro­hib­i­tive’’, John­son said.

A re­cent en­gi­neer­ing as­sess­ment deemed the ma­jor­ity of items in the play­ground safe. How­ever, a short list of ad­di­tions and main­te­nance were needed be­fore it could be used by stu­dents again.

Work has in­cluded re­plac­ing wooden plat­forms, putting ex­tra rail­ings in place and plas­tic pro­tec­tors over chains.

Friends of Coatesville School chair­man Ja­son Steele said the work­ing bees have been a chance for com­mu­nity to come to­gether.

‘‘It’s not about nec­es­sar­ily do­ing stuff, it’s about do­ing it with oth­ers,’’ he said.

The group’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions fa­cil­i­ta­tor Nicki Gibson said the work­ing bees had been a ‘‘real com­mu­nity ef­fort’’.

‘‘It’s been re­ally lovely... ral­ly­ing the par­ents to­gether to have a work­ing bee to fix this for the chil­dren.’’

See the Friends of Coatesville School Face­book page for more on when the play­ground will re­open.

AMY BAKER/STUFF

Coatesville School pupils Max Gibson, 7, and Chloe Gibson, 5, with their cousin Leon Tucker (left), 3, at the school’s play­ground.

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