Hamilton Girls’ High School has been enjoying notable roll growth in recent years. To appropriately accommodate the students and to ensure their learning is taking place in the most effective environment possible, a strategic property review was undertaken. Greenstone Group were appointed as Project Managers to assist in the completion of this review and the master plan of its 10-year property requirements. Prior to this, the changes made to the school site had been arbitrary and lacking in strategic planning. As a result, many areas of the school were lacking in cohesiveness, particularly the Music and Drama facilities.
National anthems, haka and movie soundtracks all serve to both create and reflect emotional reactions. These products of the Arts all successfully bring people together and influence a collective emotional reaction. Music and Drama are at the heart of our society and at the heart of humanity; therefore, they deserve to be a central part of each and every school, with the appropriate buildings housing the areas for which the next generation of musicians and thespians can thrive.
The first part of the strategic plan to be implemented is the formation of a new 2,100m2 purpose-built hall, music and drama centre. This well-thought-out transformation is in stark contrast to the site expansions that have occurred over the last 50 years in a somewhat unplanned manner. Many of the existing buildings have neither been placed appropriately nor designed to support the school’s aim of meeting the needs of 21st Century learning. At the core of this project is the goal of providing our rangatahi with the best opportunities for educational success, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.
The project involved relocating key facilities that were currently scattered around the school campus in order to create a centralised and dedicated music and arts precinct. The much more connected hall, music and drama centre provide a meaningful and useful heart for the school campus. The centre includes a covered open space of approximately 300m2 between the drama and music facilities. This effectively addresses the issue identified in the development of the concept plan with the lack of usable open-space areas within the school campus.
Mirroring the connectedness of the drama and music centre, attention was paid to the biggest partnership in the bicultural nation of Aotearoa. Greenstone Group were mindful to the cultural sensitivities in ensuring a balance between effective delivery of the new building and its harmonious coexistence with the existing wharenui. Particular attention was given to ensuring the cultural aspects of the wharenui were maintained and not disturbed by new developments.
At the core of this project are people and connectivity. This can be seen in the responsibilities Greenstone Group undertook for this important project, with many areas relating to collaboration with others. Greenstone was responsible for client liaison and interface; stakeholder management; assisting with funding applications; contractor procurement and management; consultant procurement and project leadership.
In addition to human resource leadership, this multi-faceted project has utilised many areas of Greenstone Group’s expertise. They have been responsible for developing the project concept and delivery plan; project strategies; and design management, including the implementation of Environmentally Sustainable Design initiatives.
The successful completion of this transformation provides the ever-increasing number of students of Hamilton Girls’ High School even more opportunities to thrive within the school environment and beyond.