When students at Papakura Central School took delivery of 50 new bikes, they couldn’t wait to ride them around the school’s freshly laid 350 metre bike track.
But where to store the bikes safely and securely was more of a headache for Principal Keith Tetzlaff – until the idea of a shipping container was suggested.
Royal Wolf, Australasia’s largest supplier of shipping containers, modified and installed a 40-foot high cube container next to the track to ensure the bikes were easily accessible to students.
The containers are modified to create a layout with specialist bike racks, a modified door to allow easy access, and painted in a colour to suite the school’s needs.
Papakura’s bike riding programme is part of the nationwide initiative, Bikes In Schools, which enables all Kiwi kids to have regular access to bikes and experience the fun and benefits of bike riding.
Mr Tetzlaff says due to safety concerns many parents are cautious about letting their children ride to school and around the community as there is limited access to public bike paths.
“These new facilities ensure all our students get the chance to ride a bike while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. We work with Auckland Transport to teach our students road rules to give them confidence and keep them safe when they are riding on the road and bike paths in the future.”
He says the option of using a shipping container works well because the school does not have an existing space big enough to store that number of bikes.
“A semi-permanent option such as a container was ideal for us. Not only was it the most cost-effective solution but it means all the bikes are in one place near the bike track so there’s no need to transport them around the school grounds.”
Papakura Central is the first school Royal Wolf has produced a bike container for with containers in production for Murrays Bay Intermediate on the North Shore and Oratia District School in West Auckland.
Paul Creighton, Royal Wolf Executive General Manager, says containers are an affordable yet secure and strong solution which makes them ideal for everything from bike sheds to a general storage container.
“Containers are a surprisingly diverse and adaptable product to work with considering they are a big steel box. Our containers are being used for many diverse projects ranging from dog kennels for the New Zealand Defence Force to inner-city pop-up cafes, and now school bike sheds.”
As well as the durability and security benefits, the beauty of using a shipping container is that generally school’s do not require a building permit because they are not a permanent structure. Although, Mr Creighton recommends checking with the local council first.
“It also means the container can be moved if needed rather than the school spending valuable funds on a permanent structure or building. The highly portability nature is a key part of a containers appeal.”
Mr Creighton says it is exciting when containers are used in new, creative or very practical ways and the bike sheds are a classic example of them being turned into something useful.