Due to Auckland traffic being what it is, I have plenty of time to think while driving and I can see the method in the school's madness. In fact, Manurewa Intermediate is not mad at all, in fact they're geniuses! By having such a fun activity within their school grounds, they appear a "now" learning institution to their students and one which is seamless to their students' lives and pursuits outside of the classroom and indeed outside of the school. The remarkable condition of the facility also does much to suggest that the students have pride in not only their own skatarama but no doubt subsequently in their school on a larger level. If I was a student at this school, I would feel a greater sense of belonging and attachment to not only the physcial confines of the school but also the academic intent and content as well.
By having such a facility inside the school grounds, the school is figuratively and literally showing that they are a modern learning institution and they are interested in not the student but the holistic individual as well. They are also making it very clear that while they support such a recreational pursuit, such pursuance must be done safely, under the supervision of school staff and with respect to the school rules and the school environment. Whether the skatarama adds academic benefit to students and thus the school is actually irrelevant. What it does do is make the students and their interests valued and on a grand, authentic and highly visible scale.
In having such a facility, the school is also saying to the community at large that learning can occur anywhere, even in a skatepark. No doubt the teachers of this school has found that such a facility on site permits them to explore what they see and use as more academic learning spaces. Even this skatarama would be fruitful in terms of providing legitimate learning undertakings from Maths to Science, Physics to Physical Education and even extending to English and Art.
In my opinion, too many schools spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on massive administration edifices that meet the expectations of adults in the community. In contrast, what this facility at the front of this school does, is put students front and centre of the learning and the school visage itself. What a way to send not only a clear message to the school's students now and in the future but also to the wider community that this school is responsive, future-thinking and prioritising of students. Nice work Manurewa Intermediate, skate on!