Students and staff will be moving into the new Infants Building A for Term 2. It has been a lot of work! Thanks to all the staff, parents and kids who helped move out of the old rooms and into the new. It was a wonderful sight to see so many people pitching in together to help.
The Belrose Nursery land was purchased at the end of 1999. Since then several plans for Building A have been proposed. It is exciting to finally see this long anticipated project nearing completion.
Building work has continued with a team of contractors VERY busy on site every day of the school holidays. Smartboards, security, phones, photocopiers, speaker system, airconditioning, gardens, rainwater tanks and shadecloths are just some of the things added over the holiday period.
Teachers, students and a few parents have already helped pack up the Kindy, Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms in preparation.
Fencing is being installed around the perimeter as well as the water retention area. There are a few gaps underneath due to the slope of the site which will be addressed.
The playground has been re-installed. It will however remain closed for a few weeks until artificial turf has been laid and it has had a paint touch up. The newly laid grass may also be off limits for a little while longer to give it a chance to be established.
Two new sandpits are HUGE and will be ready for action.
The installation of the operable wall between Year 2 classrooms has unfortunately been delayed. The only supplier of a particular component is still out of stock. The demand from school building projects around Australia has been huge.
Thanks to everyone who has been involved. We have much to be grateful for!! We look forward to being able to settle in over the coming weeks before our grand opening celebrations. (The official date is awaiting confirmation. We are required to have a politician officially open the building as part of the Economic Stimulus package which provided most of the funding. Fortunately for the students we can move in before this time).
See comments from the architect below about some of the exciting features of this building.
The embankment of the large water retention area has been turfed. The bottom will soon be surfaced with artificial turf. This area is legally required to have a pool fence around it.
In Mid February staff were taken on a tour of the New Infants Building. This is scheduled to open next term. After seeing the great new facility several High School staff commented they may seek to retrain as Infants teachers! The infants teachers were especially excited to explore their new rooms and start dreaming of how they can make the most use of it. It was raining during the tour yet the wide verandahs and central open area helped demonstrate to all staff how much room there still was for play.
Stay tuned for details of the opening celebrations.
Windows and wall cladding are now in place. Gyprock is up on the walls. Cupboards are being installed. Sydney's wet weather and
the amount of construction being done in schools has caused some delays
but we are still planning for students to be enjoying this new space
for second term.
Comments from the Architect
Here Paul Campbell-Allen the Architect explains some of the features of this new building.
The architectural design of the K-2 complex incorporates the latest approaches to education and environmentally sustainable design.
The spaces are designed to be enjoyable and most importantly to enhance the learning experience of pupils.
The following design features achieve this:
• Simple elegant lines
• High ‘green’ credentials – high levels of insulation and shading, passive solar design and recycled materials.
• Ability to open the walls for natural air flow and flexibility of use
• Transparency for vision in and out of enclosed areas
• Materials and colours that provide stimulus and interest
• Integration of Information technology using electronic whiteboards
The key consideration of child protection is addressed by the transparency of walls, direct lines of vision to play and toilet areas and the individual design of spaces to prevent unsupervised activity. A central design feature is the common gathering space which can be used for small performances and which opens to the main external under cover area and the learning areas to each side.
The external play areas are designed for safe access with substantial shade areas.
The building construction includes a ramp for easy pram access and stairs on either side for convenience and access to other existing sections of the school. Work is still expected to be completed in time for second term 2010.
Some maybe wondering what we be happening to B Block once the infants classes move into the new building. Well the good news is that they too will be refurbished as primary school classrooms. This will commence as soon as infants move out and should be occupied by the second half of 2010.
The great benefit to the whole school is that once the new Kindy to Year 2 building is occupied it will allow for other classroom moves that will also allow Secondary School to grow into other parts of the school campus currently occupied by Junior School. This includes E Block which currently houses Year 6.
The other great benefit of this project will be the additional playground space that will be added that the students will be able to explore and enjoy. It is exciting times!