I have now completed a number of presentation to various groups about our new school. I will work with the MOE and outside providers to provide current parents and students with a comprehensive overview of the project near the start of the new term. In the meantime, I share with you the written update below as well as key messages relating to managing health and safety during the enabling works period.
Western Springs College in Auckland is one of the most complex school redevelopments ever undertaken in New Zealand. The $75 million redevelopment project is the largest investment in a single school in New Zealand.
The school was prioritised for redevelopment in 2014 due to high growth in the surrounding area and a range of property issues relating to its location on an old landfill.
This will address property issues which have arisen over the past years relating to the site’s previous use as a landfill from the 1930s through to the 1970s. The school was built on the site in 1962 while the landfill was still operating to the north and east of the school. The school also has ageing infrastructure and buildings with weathertightness issues.
The first stage of the redevelopment involved setting up a temporary complex of relocatable classrooms in time for the 2017 school year. The complex was designed to provide the school with an addition hub and social space while the redevelopment is under way.
A further $4 million is being used to upgrade The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) which is located on the school site. This will address weathertightness issues and ensure the facility can continue to support arts and culture at the school and within the community.
The redevelopment will replace nearly 80 percent of its teaching spaces. The new buildings will include two new teaching blocks with a total of 64 teaching spaces, a new gymnasium, whare tapere, and an upgraded hall and administration area. Another 17 teaching spaces will also be upgraded, totalling 81 teaching spaces for the school.
One of the two new blocks will be the college’s Maori immersion-Rumaki unit Nga Puna o Waiorea. This will contain twelve teaching spaces including some specialist facilities. The Rumaki will maintain its own identity on the site and is anticipating roll growth from the current 235 students to 340 by 2020.
The redevelopment will also retain the existing wharenui.
The college has an impressive history of academic achievement in both mainstream and Rumaki classes. The new building designs will provide innovative and flexible learning environments in order to continue this tradition. Large, open spaces will facilitate collaborative learning among students from all levels and across multiple subjects.
The full redevelopment is expected to be completed in early 2019.
Timeframe of the build:
• Design: 2015-2017
• Site preparation: 2016-17
• Excavation and enabling works : 2016-2017
• Main construction starts: 2017-2019
• Completion: 2019
The health and safety of staff and students is our top priority.
We are investing $79 million to redevelop a large part of Western Springs College in central Auckland. This will address property issues which have arisen over the past years relating to the site’s previous use as a landfill from the 1930s through to the 1970s.
The work is informed by professional specialist reviews including extensive geotechnical, engineering and environmental investigations prepared by expert consultants, and a Health, Safety and Environment report released in December 2014 addressing issues at the school.
We are also taking specialist health and safety advice from environmental and contaminations specialists who monitor the work site, and a specialist contractor who carries out air monitoring tests regularly.
The construction zone is fenced off to separate the excavation site from the remaining operating parts of the school. There are stockpiling and truck loading areas within the site. . Water dampening is carried out using water spraying machinery to control construction dust across the site including the areas where rubbish is piled, ready for removal
The school and the Ministry always work closely together before and during the removal of hazardous materials to ensure they are kept fully informed of the programme of work, including safety matters. We met with the school’s community in June 2016 to discuss the redevelopment and share our plans for the site.
If there is any concern or potential threat to health and safety at the school during the redevelopment works the Ministry and its consultant team works with the school to investigate and address matters raised.