Tania Cantoni, marketing and fund-raising manager for St. Peter’s Catholic School in Surrey, England, knows that many schools across the United Kingdom struggle to find adequate space in outdated buildings. More than 1,200 St. Peter’s students press into cramped corridors and a small dining hall, and Cantoni could see that the school was running out of wiggle room. She searched online for “canopies” and discovered Fabric Architecture Ltd., Gloucester, England, a company that designs and manufactures tensile fabric structures, and called to find out how to access St. Peter’s outdoor spaces.
The school chose three different Fabric Architecture products to protect outdoor spaces from rain and sun: the Double Conic, the Pagoda Twin and three Pods with integrated steel table tops. They all consist of white PVC canopies and steelwork with top caps in “St. Peter’s blue.” County and Parent Teacher Association (CPTA) officials who helped Cantoni raise the capital for the canopies were impressed. “I absolutely love the designs; they are very European and continental looking,” says Graham Ellwood, Surrey County councillor. The school plans to hire out the canopies for community events and school productions, generating revenue that will help recoup the initial investment.