"The finished outcome more than exceeded our expectations. Everything was of high quality and what really impressed us was the tremendous work ethic of the workers."Wayne Bainbridge, Principal - Matipo Primary School
It’s always great when a customer purchases one of our COLA canopies with a specific use in mind and then discovers the huge potential that a COLA can offer across a whole range of areas. This was certainly the case with Matipo Primary School on the Te Atatu Peninsula in Auckland. When Wayne Bainbridge, the principal, approached Shade Systems, he had in mind a canopy to be used for shade and shelter for students during school hours.
The school favoured a clear top canopy design, with Mr Bainbridge being particularly impressed with the construction of the steel framework. “The thing that appealed to me was the robustness,” Mr Bainbridge said. Other options had been considered, including an aluminium structure, but he felt that these were just not strong enough. The Shade Systems COLA however, he said, “is made of steel and isn’t going to blow away,” a point many schools and organisations in Auckland must consider, thanks to the city’s unpredictable weather.
To Mr Bainbridge’s relief, initial reservations about Shade Systems were quickly dispelled. “When we first started looking for a supplier of a shade system, I noticed that [the] Shade Systems [factory was] in fact in Dargaville and I thought, ‘oh, is that going to work?’ In terms of their timeliness and responsiveness, they could have just been a Te Atatu company because they are really, really prompt.”
An immediate hit with the community
The team completed construction quickly, with disruptions to the school’s schedule being kept to a minimum. Once the AstroTurf was laid, the school moved in, and the canopy proved to be an immediate hit with students, staff and wider community members. Netball training can now be held after hours, regardless of the weather, and a local rugby league team uses the court space to train in the summer months. Benefits for the school include PE all year round and the ability to hold outdoor assemblies. “It has just given so much more versatility to the operation of the school,” Mr Bainbridge said. While he understands that the initial outlay may seem slightly daunting to some, the building of a COLA canopy by Shade Systems is one that he does not regret once. “Thirty years of kids are going to get the benefit of your initial outlay. When you look at it that way, the cost…is actually quite small.”
Not one but two COLA’s
Matipo School now has two COLA’s designed and installed by Shade Systems. After the completion of the second COLA, Shade Systems gave away a ball to every student at Matipo School, read more about it here!