St Francis De Sales College, St Francis De Sales Community Sports Centre

St Francis De Sales Community Sports Centre
St Francis De Sales College
Fixed Price
$8.5 Million

With four basketball courts of international standard, the new St Francis De Sales Community Sports Centre is one of the most modern and impressive school sports facilities in South Australia.  The first stage in a $27 million dollar development, with funding from both the State Government and Mount Barker District Council, represents a major commitment to providing outstanding facilities and progressive approaches to learning in the Adelaide Hills.

More than a decade in the making, St Francis De Sales College engaged Sarah Constructions to deliver their landmark vision.  The key remit was to ensure completion in time for the start of the basketball season, while safeguarding students and teachers on site during the construction phase.  Sarah implemented an accelerated program to ensure the client’s deadline could be met, while balancing priority site access for students.

The new sports centre was hailed as “the most significant ever undertaken by Catholic Education South Australia” at the dramatic unveiling in November.  For St Francis De Sales College and Mount Barker District Council, this flagship project supports families in the Adelaide Hills to be able to thrive, learn and lead locally.

“Sarah Constructions were able to accommodate the requirements of a construction program that required isolating a building site within the confines of an active educational community and in a manner that saw the construction completed on time, and within our budgeted expectations”.

Paul McCabe, Business Manager - St Francis de Sales College

Bringing Landmark Sports Construction To The Adelaide Hills

St Francis De Sales Community Centre Stadium Interior Sports Court
Basketball court at St Francis De Sales Community Centre
St Francis Community Centre Feature Cross
St Francis De Sales Community Centre Presentation Setup
St Francis De Sales College Community Sports Centre Signage
St Francis De Sales College Feature Glazing Cross at New Sports Centre
St Francis De Sales College Community Sports Centre Interior Foyer

Design Challenges and Creative Solutions

  • Procuring the specified acoustic plywood product, required the Sarah team to source from suppliers across three different states. This required the project team to be flexible about their working hours in order to suit the delivery schedule.
  • Some specified materials had to be sourced from overseas. The external cladding, for example, which is a high density compressed cement sheet, came from Belgium and took 26 weeks for delivery. It required precision measuring and design prior to ordering, plus strict installation to manufacturer’s specifications upon arrival, to avoid any damage which would necessitate a replacement order.
  • The design and erection of the structural steel to connect the roof of the gym stipulated a 75m continuous section, however this was too large to deliver and install in one piece. Sarah worked closely with engineers and contractors to coordinate a methodology that was achievable and safe, whilst still achieving the design intent.

Client Outcomes

  • More than a decade in the making, the new sports centre is a fantastic outcome for the client, the community and the state. It will provide a focus point of activity for the college and the wider local community for years to come.
  • For St Frances De Sales College, the new centre is already attracting considerable positive attention. Principal Gavin McGlaughlin has stated that the Eastern Hills Basketball Association and the Eastern Mavericks Basketball Club are eager to sign on as anchor tenants.
  • This is the successful first step in a larger $27 million dollar development that will enable the college’s junior school capacity to grow from 350 to 500 students.

Sarah Value-Add

  • The Sarah team provided an innovative solution to the on site construction of the structural steel roof trusses. By expertly managing the space, the flow of deliveries to the site and sequencing, the materials could be welded on site and erected, enabling the design intent to be achieved.
  • With students and teachers on site during the project, Sarah prioritised client operations, working with the school to ensure student safety. High attention to detail on risk management was implemented to coordinate safe site access on a daily basis.  This included the construction of a 2km temporary road for pupils, complete with manned gates.
  • The project team had to procure materials from a complex network of suppliers both interstate and abroad. Expert time management and a willingness to be flexible came to the fore, as Sarah went above and beyond to ensure client deadlines could be met and their vision could be realised in time for the basketball season.

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