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St Hilda’s Collegiate Playspace

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The Project

Client:
St Hilda's Collegiate School
Location:
Dunedin

St Hilda’s Collegiate in Dunedin had a dream: to transform a simple green patch in the middle of their school into a vibrant, interactive playground. They wanted a space that would cater to their students from Year 7 to Year 13, where they could socialize, play, and create lasting memories. For this project, they chose Creo for our ability to design unique and engaging play spaces

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Before

Before the playground came to life, the area was just a grassy field, often unusable due to Dunedin’s winter weather. “It was just grass. But living in Dunedin quite a few months of the year, it really was just unusable,” shared Helen Elmy, the deputy principal. The students needed a space where they could gather, interact, and have fun regardless of the weather.

What They Wanted to Achieve

The school envisioned a playground that was more than just a place to play. They wanted it to be a social hub where students of all ages could come together.

Helen explained, “We needed something to cater for all the different ages that we have,
something that they could interact with, something that they could socialise on.” The playground had to be compact yet versatile, making the most of the limited space available.

The Outcome

With Creo’s expertise, St Hilda’s Collegiate achieved a fantastic transformation. The new playground became a beloved feature of the school, offering a space where students could unwind, interact, and enjoy themselves.

The response from the students when they saw this playground has been so, so positive. This place is now one that's filled with a lot of laughter, a lot of squealing, and a lot of enjoyment."

The roundabout quickly became a favorite. “The element that has been the most successful and we love the most has been the roundabout. The Year 7 and 8 adore it, but also the Year 13 as well,” Helen shared with a smile.

Highlights and Process with Creo

Working with Creo was a smooth and enjoyable experience for St Hilda’s. Creo’s team visited the site, understood the school’s vision, and tailored their designs to fit perfectly. “They listened to us, they came on site, they talked to us, and they gave us a quote,” Helen recalled.

Despite some logistical challenges, like navigating around a low concrete balcony, Creo’s team remained unfazed and accommodating.

They ensured the project fit within the school holidays to avoid disruption. “Nothing fazed
them at all. They were just so really accommodating,” Helen praised.

"We really enjoyed working with Creo.
We would absolutely recommend other schools if they're thinking about putting a playground in, go and have a conversation with Creo"

Conclusion

The playground’s success is evident in the students’ reactions. The area now echoes with laughter and joy. “The response from the students when they saw this playground has been so, so positive. This place is now one that’s filled with a lot of laughter, a lot of squealing, and a lot of enjoyment,” Helen remarked. The playground at St Hilda’s Collegiate is a shining example of how a thoughtfully designed space can bring a community together. Our team’s ability to customise their designs to meet the school’s unique needs resulted in a space that is both functional and beloved by students. Helen’s words sum it up perfectly: “We really enjoyed working with Creo. We would absolutely recommend other schools if they’re thinking about putting a playground in, go and have a conversation with Creo.”

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