Balclutha Primary School


Balclutha Primary School

When wet weather conditions prevent you from using your grassy areas and your duty teachers carry sticking plasters around with them, you know you have a playground problem. For Balclutha Primary School’s Principal, Paddy Ford, this was a daily reality.


As Paddy describes it, “We had a playground that was 60 years old. Concrete blocks. No reinforcing, just slabs. There were holes. There were rough edges. Teachers on duty had to carry sticking plasters around. It was shocking – it was a terrible playground.”

While searching for a solution to this surfacing nightmare, Paddy found Creo. Excited by Creo’s complete ‘design and build’ offering, the school engaged Creo to create a plan for the school’s outdoor spaces.

“Creo came on-board and designed a playground that we thought would better suit our needs. We wanted a whole design and build and finished project. They had all the design and all the ability to deliver the programme that we wanted.”

Happy with Creo’s design and confident in their ability to deliver the project, the school went ahead with the proposed works which were completed in March of 2019.

“It’s made a huge difference to our school.”

Paddy Ford – Principal, Balclutha Primary School 

The result has been a real win for the school’s staff and students with the new surfaces providing all-weather play and reducing health and safety incidents. “It has solved a lot of problems and we haven’t even got to the winter yet when we had all the problems with ice and water and chips and stones on the pretty cold hard ground. This has given us an all-purpose surface we can use through all the seasons,” says Paddy.

Paddy says the school community has really loved the fresh look the playground upgrade has given to the school. “The look of amazement and surprise from past pupils, past teachers, and past parents when they come in from what they had to what we’ve got now has been great to watch.”

Perhaps the best response to the new play areas is that of Paddy Ford himself. When asked what he thinks of the new design he beams, “In all the projects I’ve ever been involved in, in a school, including remodeling and government initiatives, this one here is one that I’m most proud of.”


May 7, 2019