At a few points along the planning phase, the four main stakeholders (our school, DET, the Victorian Schools Building Authority and the architects from Content Studio) meet with representatives from Aurecon, to discuss the progress and ensure we are meeting all standards, budget limitations and that we are meeting the expectations of the funding. We had our second meeting at Aurecon this month, again passing with approval all around!

There were not many adjustments to our plan at this stage, but there are a few interesting points to note, that were raised in this meeting:

  • We conducted a more thorough test for ACM than is typically required, testing the soil on the site. We are pleased to say that the tests came back clear and we will be able to use the soil we are excavating for other purposes on site.
  • We discussed tender options again and there was a slight shift in priorities. At the start of the meeting the options had been listed as below (please note, the costs in brackets are broad estimations), however the discussion highlighted that the deck that will extend from STELLA to the productive garden is a learning space and essential to our science program reaching its full potential and so it has been removed as a tender option and will become part of our essentials plan.
    • Outdoor deck from STELLA to the productive garden ($72K)
    • Amphitheatre seating ($67K)
    • Batter slope to terrace garden ($16K)
    • Indonesian terrace garden ($36K)
    • Solar heating in STELLA ($16K)
    • Solar panels on STELLA ($23K)
    • Painting Block A ($217K - we have asked for this to be broken into smaller categories)
    • Cosmetic improvements to the brick facade of Block A ($50K)
  • Whilst schools are not allowed to use government funds for air conditioning, we are investigating installing the wiring and setup for air conditioning, so we are able to locally fund it in the future if required.
  • We discussed the potential need for CCTV in some outdoor areas of the school yard, specifically for after hours, as the more facilities we have along our fence line, the more private our yard becomes and therefore more appealing to afterhours activities we do not want!
  • We reviewed how much shade is available to our students and whether it is natural/manmade and weather proof or not. We also raised tree protection again as a very important issue.
  • There was discussion regarding our traffic management issue. 

The next stage is the Detailed Design Phase, which involves more consultation with our teachers and students about how they intend to use each of the spaces. This information will guide the next stage of planning and design development.