6 November 2023

Nareena Hills students can't contain their excitement at shipshape new storage

| Jen White
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Students holding various sporting equipment lean against their new shipping container.

Nareena Hills Public School students are thrilled with their upcycled shipping container, used to store sporting equipment and other items. Photo: NSW Ports.

They usually line ports around the world and travel across the high seas on huge commercial vessels, but shipping containers are much more than just storage units in today’s world.

Locally, Nareena Hills Public School received a grant to purchase a shipping container to be used to store sporting equipment, musical instruments and library books.

The school received funding through the NSW Ports Community Grants Program to buy the container and “upcycle” it.

Nareena Hills Public School P&C President Angela Howes said students and staff were thrilled to receive the new container that will help house so many important resources for the school.

“We’re a tight-knit community at Nareena Hills, but our little school continues to grow and that means more resources are required for our students to help them learn and thrive,” she said.

“Like much of the Illawarra, our grounds have also had challenging storms and flooding in recent years, so having this waterproof container to store school resources will be a real lifesaver.”

READ ALSO Warrawong students learn firsthand about huge role Port Kembla plays in economy

NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said the school was just one organisation that used its funding to purchase shipping containers for a variety of uses.

“We love seeing schools and other grassroots groups finding creative ways to repurpose shipping containers for the benefit of local communities,” she said.

“It’s heartening to know this steel box that performs such a crucial role in our supply chain will now support a local school community,” Ms Calfas said.

According to NSW Ports, almost half of all goods in a typical household are imported in containers into Port Botany.

Once Port Botany nears capacity, those shipping containers will be arriving at Port Kembla as the state’s next container terminal.

The “steel boxes” are popping up as homes, offices, sheds and even swimming pools around the world. Other creative conversions include gardens, art gallery/studios, movie theatres and even saunas.

Here are some other clever uses of containers:

A "mini city" in Christchurch made out of shipping containers.

Container Mall (originally called Re:START) was a mini city built of shipping containers in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the devastating 2011 earthquake. Shops and restaurants moved into the funky space while the city’s business district was rebuilt. Photo: Falun.

A playground house built from a cargo container

A playground house built from a cargo container in the German city of Pforzheim. Photo: Pridannikov.

Student housing made from shipping containers.

Brightly coloured student housing made from shipping containers. Photo: CreativeNature_nl.

A modern bar made from shipping containers.

A shipping container converted into a modern cafe bar. Photo: Rommel Gonzalez.

A shipping container converted into a cafe in South Africa.

A trendy shipping container coffee shop in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: Rich Townsend.

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