Wesley Primary School is a multicultural learning community situated in Mount Roskill. The School has been an educational institution for over 70 years and is a community focal point. With local housing regeneration building 3500 more homes, there was need for roll growth development within the school. With a strong community focus it was important that the cultures of the whānau were heavily represented in the project.
The existing school is tucked away with limited exposure. The new buildings have been master planned with a completely new orientation, giving the school a better presence to the street. The entrance to the school is vitally important and needed to be welcoming and open to all cultures and ethnicities. The entry zone allows gathering and encourages social interaction. The buildings are carefully designed using modular precast concrete and timber systems for efficiency and connected with covered outdoor walkways and teaching areas. The number of precast panel, window and door types are limited for efficiency i.e. only 6 types across project so they can be repeated in manufacture easily, providing construction efficiency as well.
The buildings have been raised 500mm to mitigate any risks of flooding as an overland flow path crosses the site. As a result, there was no water damage during the heavy flooding just a month before the project completion. The building was then able to serve as an emergency community hub during the flooding. The school procured 5YA funding towards solar panels, water tanks and composting. The solar panels have been installed on this stage and the rain water collection tanks are set for Stage 2.
The project was financially successful overall, with early procurement helping manage challenges posed by Covid and cost escalation. Only a few small items in the contract, such as the transformer plinth and manifestations, were not fully expended. Redesign of the arrival zone landscaping and regional flooding/cyclone damage delayed the handover and project timeline. A silencer had to be added during construction to comply with the Ministry of Educations latest Designing Quality Learning Spaces (DQLS) and acoustic guidelines. Despite these challenges, the buildings opened on time.
All the social, environmental, and cultural design elements were carefully considered in consultation with the school and local community members through regular user group meetings. Local Awa and Maunga heavily influenced the concept of many elements throughout the buildings; external pattern work and paving, internal pattern work on floors and walls, exterior and interior colour selections. Māori play elements Mara Hupara were integrated through consultation with local artists. The masterplan for the site has been set-up on an axis that links to the Awa and windows are strategically placed to give views of the Maunga.
Stage one has been an excellent outcome and has resulted in a truly functional building. It encompasses the schools vision for Empowered, Responsible and Respectful learners – Kia Whakamana, Kaitiakitanga and Manaakitanga mo tatou. The underpinning inquiry pedagogy across the school is Learn, Create, Share. The design of the learning spaces accommodates the flexibility that the school pedagogy is based on. The internal configuration of the spaces accommodates approximately 80 -100 students per floor. Following on from Greenstones Successfully management of this project we have been tasked with the Project Management of the design and construction of stage 2.