Albury High School Covered Outdoor Learning Area (COLA)

Albury COLA

Location: Albury, New South Wales

Client: Department of Education – NSW Government

Industry: NSW Government Infrastructure – Public School

Scope: COLA Design & Construction

Walkway for covered outdoor learning area for Albury Highschool

Project Overview

Lacking sufficient shade and outdoor cover within the school premises for outdoor learning and play, the NSW Department of Education contracted ABS in 2009 to design and construct a new COLA for Albury High School, NSW.

After visiting the school site and carefully considering the school’s needs, accessibility and timeframes, Asset Building Systems devised a design in alignment with the Educational Facilities Standards and Guidelines (EFSG), which included bird-proofing features, powder-coated steel, complete gutters and storm-water drains, and translucent roofing sheets.

Interestingly, this was one of our first COLA projects lifted by crane, Asset Building has since gone on to implement more advanced and specialised systems, including no on-site welding and improved integrated bird-proofing systems.

What is a Covered Outdoor Learning Area (COLA)?

Covered Outdoor Learning Areas (COLAs) are structural steel shelters that provide safe and functional undercover outdoor space for students, staff and visitors – these functional learning or playing areas offer excellent year-round weather protection for school assemblies, school events and award ceremonies, recreational activities, creativity & play, emergency meeting points, educational or sports shelters, learning and student fitness & movement.

The term ‘COLA’ has become synonymous with large outdoor steel structures in schools, used widely by various education departments, schools and institutions across NSW and other Australian States and Territories. Paired with walkway shade structures, COLAs are a trusted solution that offer sun and inclement weather protection to outdoor spaces for public and private schools.

Covered outdoor learning area for Albury Highschool

Our COLA Design, Engineering & Construction Capabilities

Covered outdoor learning area for Albury Highschool

Specialists in complex buildings and compliant worksites, Asset Building Systems goes above and beyond to ensure that your project succeeds.

From compliance to meeting strict deadlines, devising economic effectiveness to finding engineer-backed solutions for your needs, and full Project Management, we are first-in-class. 

Designed with proper engineering to withstand wind loads and uplift/airflow, our COLA shelters cover any sized area you need. These robust structural metal structures are a superior option to fabric covers, which often don’t block all the sun’s UV rays.

Built with galvanised steel, our COLAs are designed not to need further welding on-site, removing the risk of welding flash damage to on-lookers, and also removing the need for regular painting/maintenance of our covered learning areas.

With our quality materials, robust vandal-proof design, strong galvanised frames, these structures will be safe for years to come.

Work with Asset Building Systems Today

We’d love to be a part of your next project. Contact us here for a fast budget estimate.


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During our discovery call, we’ll discuss your business needs, the purpose of your desired shed construction, your unique preferences or specifications, and other important information.


Through this, we’ll be able to prepare for you a budget estimate that’s customised to your needs.

Learn more about Asset Building Systems COLA Capabilities for Education

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