Our project at Ngaio School began with the demolition of an earthquake-prone hall and classrooms, which we replaced with a new two-storey timber clad, steel framed building, designed to be in keeping with the remainder of the school but providing a safe, modern learning environment that maximises the available space.
There are eight teaching spaces inside the new building, separated with acoustic rated partitions that can be removed to offer a large open space leading on to a communal breakout area on each floor. The pitched ceilings on the second storey and abundance of natural light throughout provides the students with a comfortable and peaceful learning environment. We also fixed up weather-tightness issues on 14 other classrooms during the project.
This was a challenging job, with the school sited on a very steep slope in a hillside suburb that has limited parking and very narrow streets – careful coordination of deliveries was essential. The new classroom block also adjoins two existing school buildings, so we needed to keep the surrounding buildings dry and operational in a live school environment.
The number one priority throughout was keeping the students safe in the middle of a busy building site – high risk activities such as the removal of asbestos and the demolition works were programmed for weekends and holidays.
Communication was key to the success of this project – we held a community presentation to raise awareness and interest before we started on site, then followed this up with flyer drops around the neighbourhood, inserts in the school newsletter and a series of liaison meetings with the school. We ended up becoming part of the school community for the year we were on site, holding a poster competition, being interviewed for the students’ careers assignments, and even carefully relocating a bird’s-nest that the students spotted!
“The Naylor Love team have been a professional, dedicated and hard working team to have on site. Health and Safety is a priority. Management understand and work around the complexities that are part of working in the education sector.”
Liz Millar, Principal
Client: Ministry of Education
Completed: December 2015
Awards: NZ Commercial Project Awards 2017, Education, Silver award