New State-Of-The-Art School Built to Meet Growing Enrolment Demands
“Morialta Secondary College is an inspiring place to work, live and learn every day for students and staff. As a new school, we are building a community together where every student feels that they belong, can achieve their potential, and become inspired, active citizens.” Roley Coulter, Principal – Morialta Secondary College.
The students, staff and construction team behind the new Morialta Secondary College all agree there’s something very special about their school. Located in Adelaide’s leafy north-eastern suburbs, the college is a new purpose-built co-educational government school, which welcomed its first students– 168 excitable Year 7s – earlier this year.
The college is being developed through a unique staged approach, welcoming up to 200 Year 7 students each year over the next six years.
The college’s architecture is inspired by the various landmarks contained within the Morialta Conservation Park, and the history of the area’s First Nations people. Step inside, and the open design and state-of-the-art technology supports modern pedagogy principles through communal collaboration spaces, flexible learning spaces and indoor-outdoor learning environments.
Sarah Constructions is leveraging its existing collaborative and trusted relationship with the Department for Education to deliver the innovative facilities, including two three-storey learning precinct buildings, a two-storey administration and performing arts building, gym, and landscaping works.
After demolition of the previous outdated facilities and commencement of construction in 2022, delivery is continuing in the operational school, with works on-going around the occupied building containing 200 staff and students: all without disruption to classes, and with an unwavering focus on student safety.
Successful Schools Built by Successful Relationships
Sarah Construction has delivered four of the last five new South Australian schools; Whyalla Secondary College, Aldinga Payinthi College, Angle Vale Riverbanks B-12 College, and now, Morialta Secondary College.
Sarah Construction’s Project Manager Terry Kildea has a close association with the Department and reflects on the special nature of education projects.
“Modern schools provide incredible opportunities for students. Social infrastructure builds community, and our team is proud to be a part of a project that will continue to impact on students and families for many years.”
The school is being delivered by a mix of the teams that successfully delivered the Whyalla, Aldinga and Angle Vale colleges, all completed in 2021 and now home to thousands of students.
“On these projects, we focused on building great relationships with all stakeholders and working together we added considerable value.
“These relationships allowed us to quickly mobilise to Morialta and reduce downtime in familiarisation of the project objectives.
“We successfully maintained the project’s timelines which were already impacted by labour and material shortages across the construction industry,” said Mr Kildea.
A Safe and Welcoming School Community
Keeping everyone safe while continuing construction works within a fully operational school environment requires careful planning and rigorous communication protocols.
“Terry and the Sarah Team have been incredible to work with. They have ensured that our transition onto site has been seamless, and that the safety of students and staff has been paramount,” said Principal Roley Coulter.
High risk construction activities are planned to occur outside school hours, and construction zones are carefully segregated from the school community, with temporary wayfinding signs modelled on the permanent signage to encourage familiarity.
The building’s acoustics have been designed to maximise learning opportunities, and have been integral in controlling construction noise, even directly above classrooms.
The staged build is further strengthening relationships, with the Sarah team becoming valued members of the school community, and willing participants in the college’s opening day celebrations.
“We were pleased to play a part in welcoming the very first students; it brings to the forefront the benefit of constructing social infrastructure when we see the big smiles on their faces,” said Mr Kildea.
“Terry and the Sarah Team have been incredible to work with. They have ensured that our transition onto site has been seamless, and that the safety of students and staff has been paramount.” Roley Coulter, Principal – Morialta Secondary College
Building Innovative, Modern School Communities
Sarah’s long-standing relationship with the Department has allowed its construction teams to progressively embrace the educational principles critical to successful, modern school communities.
The construction team has worked alongside the Department and its architectural consultants to deliver world class facilities such as transparent learning spaces; showcasing a myriad of learning opportunities everywhere you look and encouraging passive surveillance.
Flexible learning spaces can be expanded to suit different teaching approaches and encourage collaboration while maintaining acoustic integrity, and the outdoors has been brought indoors, by creating open, natural classrooms under the building’s main roof.
Recent learnings from the Whyalla Secondary College are also enhancing outcomes at Morialta.
In one example, the Sarah team recommended adapting the design of bi-parting doors between learning spaces, to further open up the flexible classrooms and maximise outcomes.
“We are all life-long learners, and each school we help build increases our ability to add further value to the education community,” said Mr Kildea.