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West Rolleston Primary School

Pour’n’Play installation at West Rolleston School in ChristchurchPour’n’Play installation at West Rolleston School in Christchurch

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West Rolleston Primary School is one of the good news stories to come out of Christchurch following the earthquakes that saw many Cantabrian students lose much-loved schools. As one of the city’s bright new schools it opened its doors to 100 eager students in January 2016.

Part of the Ministry of Education’s directive to provide a ‘network of modern education’, West Rolleston Primary School offers a vibrant learning environment that feels very different to the traditional classroom design of years gone by. Here students work in open-plan ‘studios’ with breakout spaces for technology, media, arts and cooking.

As the main contractor on the school build the Southbase construction team knew the school’s playground needed to match the high-tech specifications of the rest of the campus.

“We were looking for a full ground system to provide a solution for the playground area,” says Southbase Senior Site Manager, Ross McCulloch.

“Numat was able to provide Pour’n’Play and other rubber matting to fill the brief. And, most importantly for us, they came through quickly with quotes and proved they could work in the necessary time frame.”

"There are no barriers to play time... it's so much better than bark"
Sylvia Fidow
Principle West Rolleston School

“Our system was initially slightly over budget,” says Numat Sales Manager James Rawnsley. “There was much deliberation and they looked at the alternatives that were cheaper in the short term. But they didn’t want to cut corners. And so they came back to the best product in the market.”

The timelines were also a critical part of the school project, which was part of the government’s initiative to construct thirteen new schools in the greater Christchurch area. The West Rolleston Primary School was under the watchful eyes of many stakeholders – and it was up to Ross to ensure all contractors met the tight timeframes.

“What we needed was a supplier that would do the job effectively and efficiently. We only had a couple of days to get it done, and Numat did it within that timeframe,” says Ross.

“We were working to some pretty tight timeframes – but the project coordination from Southbase was solid and we stepped up to lay it down,” says Numat’s general manager Jacob Judd. “From the base preparation to the final testing everything went smoothly.”

For school principal Sylvia Fidow the new surface has delivered something far more valuable than fast pour times and durability. With a number of special needs students at the school creating a play area that was accessible to all students was a critical part of the project.

“The kids really love the playground because it’s so soft and also very warm,” she says. “But the most important thing is that it’s accessible for all of our children, including those in wheelchairs and with learning disabilities.”

With no edges and a supple and smooth surface “there are no barriers to play time” says Sylvia. “It’s so much better than bark.”

The modern look and high tech performance of the playground is right at home in this state-of-the-art school and, while it’s still early days, everyone involved is looking forward to seeing what these 21st century students can throw at their new play area.

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