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South New Brighton School celebrates new playground

Date:  June 2022

Helping Hand:  Mitre 10 National Helping Hands Programme (Project Playground) and Mitre 10 MEGA Ferrymead

Project:  New Playground for South New Brighton School in Christchurch

 

A brand new adventure playground has given South New Brighton School another reason to celebrate as it marks its centenary this year, with the support of Mitre 10 Helping Hands - Project Playground.

Established in 1922, the school in the coastal east of Christchurch with approximately 500 students, has long been at the heart of a vibrant community hit hard by a series of events. 

The Christchurch earthquakes forced many families to relocate out of the area after their homes were red zoned, and caused the loss of the joint Council and school hall and other facilities. After a long wait, the rebuild of the school hall was to begin in 2020, when an electrical fire destroyed a block of five classrooms, a library and resource rooms. 

The school’s Project Playground submission described the state of the school’s existing play equipment as “dismal, however, any hope of upgrading the playground area had to be put on hold while classroom and hall design, plan and build were prioritised.

Principal Sue Walls said: “Seeing your school injured in that way is difficult for people and it takes a long time to repair and recover. To have something new around the school feels like the rebuilding is starting to happen after 10 years, that we’re starting to get some positive things happening. 

“We’re a real community here and the wider community uses our playground during the weekends and holidays, so the school is really the hub. We’re a fair distance from another playground so to have one that people can come to with the whole family is special.”

Despite Covid disruption and manufacturing delays, the playground opened early on Friday 17 June to the delight of students and teachers alike, with Mitre 10 MEGA Ferrymead, who also helped with demolition and the new fence build, putting on a sausage sizzle for the long anticipated opening celebration.

Special thanks to The Playground People for their hard work and dedication to the ‘Project Playground’ builds.