Thu, Nov 25, 2021 9:22 AM

Playground revamp for Whitney Street School

The new playground was officially opened last week in a special ceremony. Photos: Matt Brown.

Matt Brown

A popular playground at a Blenheim school has had a revamp to the delight of staff and students.

Whitney Street School’s adventure playground was designed and built by volunteers 26 years ago.

And Rod McCloy, the original designer, says he is honoured to be invited back to lead the upgrade.

Whitney Street School principal Cheryl Wadsworth says the upgrade began in 2018, when staff decided the wooden playground was looking run down.

“We consulted with the children, the board of trustees and mums and dads,” she says.

As one of the only wooden playgrounds remaining in the region, they wanted to keep the special and unique aspects intact.

They got in touch with The Recreation Company director, Rod, who helped build the playground originally, in 1995.

Rod says it was one of the toughest builds he has been a part of.

Lockdown, rain and a high water table made the build a difficult one.

“You couldn’t get a hole – it would just fill with mud,” Rod says.

He had high praise for Scott Construction, and builder Phil Murrin.

“Phil has been an absolute tiger.

“It’s been wet as a shag, and he’s been working through.”

Scott Construction site manager Brett Molloy says it’s been a great build.

“Every challenge it could throw, it has. But with perseverance we’re happy to have a good result,” Brett says.

Opened by Marlborough Mayor John Leggett on Tuesday, he says it was absolutely outstanding to see the finished project.

Council put $40,000 toward the project, after Whitney Street School pupils submitted to the annual plan.

“They made a really interesting submission,” mayor Leggett says.

“All the councillors decided it was a very good project. We were happy to grant some money toward that.”

Cheryl says staff and pupils are thrilled with the final result.

“We’re really grateful for the problem solving of the engineers, Rod and the builders.”