Choosing a playground for your school can be a challenge, however, with careful planning, it can be a fun and smooth process. Read on to learn the 5 key things to consider before you contact a playground supplier.
First up, take an in-depth look at the list of topics we have created to help you:
- Clarify your vision, wants and needs.
- Ensure boundaries are in place for a smooth and inclusive playground purchasing process.
- Write a design brief that details your needs and wants, so your playground supplier has a starting point.
Get started planning your school playground
We recommend writing a few dot points under each heading. Writing down your thoughts helps you clarify your objectives and provides a reference point to come back to during the playground purchasing process.
1. Establish a playground budget
How much can you afford to spend? Do you have funding in place or do you need to apply for a grant? How long will that take?
Most commonly, school playground suppliers will design a playground that suits your budget. A typical school playground can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the size and complexity. In some cases, schools choose to spend even more. For advice on setting a budget, you can always call our helpful team on 1300 237 587 or read our new playground budgeting blog.
2. Decide the playground location
Have you made the decision where your playground will be located within your school grounds? If so, what is the size of the space? This influences the design and size of the playground.
An engaging playground that complies with the Australian Standards will need a minimum space of 7 metres by 7 metres, because the Standard requires a clear space (called an impact area) around the equipment.
A good playground supplier would normally visit the site prior to designing a playground to assess the size and constraints of the site. It is wise to contact a supplier that provides customised playground designs to ensure the best use of the space and that site features are accounted for.
3. Assess playground users and number of users
Often, it’s the expected number of playground users that determines the size of your playground. Having too few and small playgrounds can lead to overcrowding, which can result in conflict within play spaces and split play times.
The age group of the students using the playground will influence the playground design. A playground for younger prep school children will combine different elements from those we would use for senior children. So, it’s important that you communicate with your playground equipment supplier so the designers can take ages into account.
4. Clarify the decision-making process
The school principal is usually the key decision maker, but most schools have a collaborative process involving fundraising groups, parents and students. This makes the process more inclusive, but you need to nominate one key decision maker.
Tip: If you are including students in the decision-making process, we suggest that they don’t make the final decision. A new playground is a significant investment for your school. Although it’s great that students have input on features and appearance, the adults should make the final decision based around design and commercial considerations.
Your choice of playground elements and design should ensure, for example, that the playground:
- Is age appropriate
- Has sufficient play value
- Caters for students with special needs
- Blends with the surrounding environment
- Adds value to the look and feel of the school yard
- Has quality guarantees
5. Create special requirement/wish list
If you have children with special needs, or you have seen features in other playgrounds that you would like in your school playground, jot down ideas and pass them on to your playground designer and supplier. Students often have favourite elements that a playground supplier can include in your school playground design.
Need help planning your new school playground?
Our helpful team is on hand with years of experience that will make light work of planning your school playground. Call us on 1300 237 587 or contact us.
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