Woodcroft College, Early Learning Centre

Early Learning Centre
Woodcroft College
Fixed Price
$4.2 Million

Stage 1 of the Woodcroft College Early Learning Centre (ELC) includes featured landscaping to create 7 outdoor play areas, 2 bridges, washed aggregate walkways and a standout architectural feature stormwater swale. The Swanbury Penglase Architects design incorporates 67 new carpark spaces, complete with drop off and pick up locations for families.

Inside the new ELC, a combination of a skylight running through the middle of the building, together with open plan layout, creates an inspiring and flexible learning environment. The Nature Play Area includes shade sails, water features pooling into sandpits, a mud kitchen, fairy houses, cubby house and wooden climbing structures that create sensory play opportunities for children.

The Sarah team successfully delivered Woodcroft College a bespoke Early Learning Centre that ensures children are at the centre of the learning environment. The ELC’s thoughtfully designed outdoor areas allow exploration of the natural world, complimented by the bright indoor spaces designed for children to socialise and learn together.

Thoughtful Design With Children At The Centre Of The Learning Environment


Design Challenges and Creative Solutions

  • Large timber truss design. Required numerous alterations to balance between engineering and Council requirements. Sarah worked through the design review to deliver a cost effective and timely solution.
  • Architectural feature storm water swale. This dramatic feature also provides important storm water management subject to Council performance requirements. Sarah liaised directly with the engineer consultant and Council to ensure compliance with regulations and thus achieve design approval, without long term program delays.
  • Natural stone variation. The swale design included a large retaining wall made of natural stone. Ensuring the stone met engineering and landscaping finish levels was extremely challenging as natural stone doesn’t come in uniform size. Sarah managed the solution by adjusting civil levels, ensuring the most aesthetic rocks were placed in the most visible areas.

Client Outcomes

  • Minimal disruption to school operations. Sarah delivered major construction works with minimal disruption through planning and high level coordination between the College and contractors. At each step, the potential impact was discussed and best times agreed, with a focus to conduct all intrusive work outside school times – i.e. during school holidays.
  • Milimetre perfect execution delivers safety requirements. Sarah ensured that the building was milimetre perfect to provide the supervisor with visibility of students from all angles of the building. This included milimetre perfect fall heights and positioning of play items to avoid obstructed views if the supervisor is inside and children are outside.
  • Child Centered Learning. The combination of open plan building, colour schemes, feature skylight for natural light and custom-made joinery to suit young students delivered an inclusive learning environment.

Sarah Value-Add

  • Playground certification. The Sarah team went over and above to ensure certification of the all-natural playground. High level coordination, inspections and reports with action items between landscape architect, civil engineers and playground certification body ensured successful delivery.
  • Trouble shooting storm water regulations. Technically a design responsibility, Sarah worked closely with the Architects to ensure the design and building procedure was aligned and compliant with Council regulations.
  • Early project delivery. Sarah delivered the program 6 weeks early which provided the ELC staff with additional time to move in and be fully prepared before the official opening day. Instead of staging the building and carpark as separate works, Sarah simultaneously conducted the works to enable the early project delivery.

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