A supersized, covered outdoor learning area has completely transformed an empty space at Raumati South School.
The canopy, called a Cola, was constructed during the school holiday with the finishing touches being applied now including lights, sound system as well as astroturf.
Principal Martin Hett said the school had received $290,000 from the Government as part of an investment fund rollout nationwide.
The school decided to spend $225,000 of it on the Cola because it had several advantages.
"One of the reasons was because we can't all fit in our hall.
"We can now get outside more and do more things in an all-weather environment.
"It also matches our vision using our heart, head and hands to grow courageous learners.
"And it will be a great community facility as well."
The Cola is 16m wide, 28m long, 6.5m to the highest point, and covers 450 sq m.
The membrane was given an ideal test during the first weekend of the school holiday when it poured down with rain.
"It was a really good test because the rain was very heavy.
"I thought it would leak, but it was dry."
Hett was impressed with the install by Auckland-based Shade Systems.
"It literally went up in three days.
"They spent a week drilling and then craned in the steel and put it up.
"They've been really good to work with."
Hett said the Cola had "completely transformed" an asphalt area.
"I saw one at Raroa Intermediate and it looks really good with the lights.
"The lights face up, not down, and it bounces off the membrane and creates a nice, warm light."
It was hoped a grass bank at the southern end of the Cola could be converted into an area that people could sit on and look down into the Cola.
The bank would need to be stabilised in some areas and greenery used to strengthen it.
"If anyone can help with plants, please come and see me."
A similar Cola was installed at Raumati Beach School shortly after Raumati South School's was put up.
"We did a joint application [with Raumati Beach School] to get the best deal."
One crew was used to create a Cola at each school.