Originally an orchard the Ministry of Education (MoE) purchased this land to develop into a new primary school and procured a ‘design & build’ contract that included master planning, design, and construction. The school needed to accommodate a roll of 450 students, with future growth up to 650. Catering for rapid urban and commercial growth within the Pyes Pa and Tauriko suburbs, the project was to deliver a flexible, innovative space for teaching and learning in alignment with the school’s philosophy.
As the design developed, the decision was made to position the school over an existing ridge, resulting in significant earthworks to re-shape & level the site. After construction commenced in early 2018, the project team were working through several complex issues around project scope with earthworks & geotechnical issues and culturally sensitive archaeological discoveries. In addition to this there was a demanding programme requiring the school to be open and operational for Term 1 2019. Greenstone were engaged in April 2018 to manage these issues and achieve the desired open date. We were chosen for our expertise in providing ‘best for project’ solutions and dealing with complex site and contractual issues. Our success in managing these challenges on site led to the MoE engaging our Project Management and Engineer’s Representative services for the remainder of the construction period and handover.
Greenstone initiated the construction work being split into several phases with separate completion dates. This allowed the Contractor to focus on the essential work to see the majority of the school admin, teaching spaces, and outdoor facilities open and operational on time for the start of Term 1 2019.
Utilising existing contacts and relationships within the Tauranga City Council, Greenstone was able to negotiate favorable outcomes for site access and fencing due to an adjacent stormwater management project that the Council were running. Delays to the Councils adjacent works resulted in extensive earthworks being unable to commence until winter. We worked with the MoE & Contractor to determine a strategy to minimize the impact on the school, where earthworks were put on hold until summer holidays when work could be more efficient and school was closed.
Throughout the project there were regular changes of MoE Delivery Managers, so Greenstone Group ended up with crucial project knowledge and background to guide the Ministry and other consultants with key decision making in the later stages. During construction we also provided regular updates and communication for neighbouring property owners and helped to address the effects of construction on their properties and personal circumstances.
It was a great success to achieve a formal opening of the school on time, given the complexities and delays encountered. The community has greatly benefited from the new school and the roll was filled quickly. As a result of this, the MoE have since given approval for master planning & design to commence immediately on Stage 2 of the Taumata School development, increasing the roll to 650 students, with master planning for up to 900 students in the future. Greenstone Group have a strong relationship with the MoE and have been engaged for full Design & Project Management services to build on existing relationships and lessons learned.