We are very pleased to let you know that the project team for our rebuild has been appointed and we are delighted to be working with Athfields Architects, Rubix Project Managers and WT Partnership Quantity Surveyors. We have had the first master planning meeting of the rebuild project team and will be beginning master planning in earnest over the rest of the term.
The master planning process takes approximately 12 months moving from site concept planning to building concept design to detailed planning. Our rebuild is challenging but also has huge opporunities to deliver a beautiful school for the future. We have a small constrained and complex site in that we are surrounded on one side by narrow tree lined residential streets and a very busy road and intersection on the other which makes heavy traffic movement challenging. The river running through the site adds a significant ground complexity and with the site being small it is quite a challenge to design location of new builds so that later demolition has a satisfactory egress. At the same time demolition of the two large blocks so close to the river will be a challenging process.
However, we must have one of the most beautiful school sites in New Zealand and in summer when the Performing Arts Centre is opened up to the terraces and the river, it is truly stunning. A key feature of planning our new build will be to maximise opening and access to the river and to maintain and increase as much green and recreational space for the students as possible, including creating a full sized playing field for home games.
In terms of the site, ultimately everything bar the new Performing Arts Centre, the gymnasium and the visual arts block next to it, will be rebuilt and the pre-fabs removed. This means seven of our nine faculties will be in new builds – Science, Technology, Mathematics, English, Languages, Social Sciences, Commerce – along with the Library and our International Students Centre. In addition, facilities housed on the island will be included in the rebuild in the main area of the school – staff facilities and staffroom, student pastoral services including counselling and deans, and careers. You can see that we are entering a significant rebuild process over the next 5-7 years. We are very fortunate that there will be no decanting required on or off site and our students will remain in the current blocks and move over gradually as new builds are completed. Obviously through the construction phase which is some time away, health and safety of our students and staff will be a primary planning focus.
While there will be the inevitable disruptions to manage with a large rebuild, we are fortunate to be receiving a virtually new school which will be designed for the educational benefit of our future community. It is exciting to be beginning that journey.
Ngā mihi nui