Evolution and growth are what keep us moving forward. Evolution and growth of a school, however, necessitate efficient and effective changes and developments to be made to school sites. Auckland’s Newmarket Primary School is a prime example of this. Newmarket Primary School opened way back in 1877 in the heart of Newmarket. At the time, Newmarket was a rural area, in stark contrast to the vibrant and busy retail and commercial hub it is now. The area has undergone a rapid transformation in recent years, with the addition of several multistory apartment buildings being constructed in the past ten years. Unsurpsingly, Newmarket Primary School’s roll growth, too, has substantially increased. A s a result, Greenstone Group were brought on board to help with the delivery of a modern four-story-12-classroom block for the school, which included a hall, administration area and library.
This major project began without Greenstone Group but was not tracking well. Thus, the incumbent Project Manager had their contract terminated due to the project stalling at the same time as the school’s roll continued to grow. Greenstone Group were asked to take over and provide Project Management services due to their excellent reputation with similar projects in other schools. Greenstone Group gladly took up the challenge of expediting the process of bringing the plans to life for the good of the students. Subsequent to the successful and timeous delivery of the new block, Greenstone Group were engaged to undertake the 5 Year Agreement and the 10 Year Property Plan, which they have been working on since April 2019. This work has been undertaken in collaboration with an active Board and engaged Principal who has a clear vision for their 10 Year Property Plan.
There has been clear and frequent communication between all involved parties. In the meetings between Greenstone Group and the school Prinicipal, Dr Wendy Kofoed, the school outlined their “must haves”, which included submitting a draft for the peer review panel with the Ministry of Education by the end of August 2019. The school looked to Greenstone Group to provide robust and comprehensive guidance through this technical process to achieve the desired outcome, highlighting the high regard with which schools hold Greenstone Group.
As can be expected for a project involving multiple parties, the key challenges Greenstone Group face as they continue to move forward with this project is stakeholder management. Greenstone Group will mitigate potential obstacles by maintaining transparent and open communication where all parties feel comfortable to converse. Greenstone Group have already expended considerable energy responding to individual Board members’ queries and providing requested documentation to assist the Board in understanding that due diligence has been undertaken.
Like all projects, this journey requires dedicated and concentrated efforts to ensure its success. This has already proven worthwhile through the delivery of the new block. The continued dramatic roll growth necessitates that future development and projects for the school require prioritization. Future projects will surely provide even more opportunities for authentic learning to occur for the young people of Newmarket.
The experience Greenstone Group have and familiarity with Ministry of Education processes and requirements have been recognised as immeasurably valuable by the client. This ongoing journey is a clear example of a project that required detailed understanding of the inner workings of school Boards and the particular challenges of meeting Ministry of Education requirements while simultaneously delivering what the school needs to achieve its pedagogical vision. These skills of Greenstone Group have allowed for the successful delivery of the new school block, dramatically changing the school for the better.
In addition to this, Greenstone Group’s ability to effectively manage relationships with a wide array of people and maintain productive working practice has resulted in satisfaction of all involved parties to date. Greenstone Group’s strong positive relationship with the school ensures ongoing work continues to provide the most valuable opportunities for the growing number of students of Newmarket Primary School now and in the future.