St Mary's Memorial School, St Mary’s Memorial School Redevelopment

St Mary’s Memorial School Redevelopment
St Mary's Memorial School
Fixed Price
$5.6 Million

A multi-stage project located one street back from Jetty Rd, Glenelg, the St Mary’s Memorial School Redevelopment included the partial demolition of a 1960s two storey building, construction of a new three storey building, new turf soccer pitch and nature playground. The $5.6 million redevelopment involved the construction of a striking façade, paying homage to the nautical nature and history of Glenelg, and a connecting link between the new building and renovated McIntyre Building. This project is an excellent example of Sarah Constructions’ collaborative approach and expert programming at an operational school, in a busy location.

The key remit, besides sticking to the tight timeline, was to minimise the footprint of construction works, allowing students and teachers to maintain a close to normal school experience, for the duration of construction. Sarah developed a plan that ensured all key deadlines were met, working through school holidays for any noisy and/or dusty activities and resequencing trades to work concurrently to reduce delays.

The new building is a spectacular visual representation of Glenelg’s coastal heritage and a stand-out feature of the updated school, which now features contemporary, open, learning environments. For St Mary’s Memorial School, the greatest outcome was that the exceptional quality and design was achieved in a short constrained timeframe; testament to the project team’s excellent project management and commitment to delivery.

Creative Thinking and Programming Solutions Delivers Excellence On Time

Interior Lounge at St Marys Memorial School
Sporting Ground at St Marys Memorial School
Interior Lounge at St Marys Memorial School
Interior Classroom at St Marys Memorial School
Exterior Staircase at St Marys Memorial School
Interior Lounge Area at St Marys Memorial School

Design Challenges and Creative Solutions

  • Creative Access Solutions. The main site access was via an alleyway, with a heritage church on one side; access via the other side of the site was constrained by high voltage powerlines. Sarah’s solutions focus and commitment to delivery drove the team to think outside of the square to complete works. It was arranged, for example, that trades people would abseil down the side of the building in order to complete window and precast caulking installation.
  • Innovative Redesign & Installation. The awkward location of the high voltage powerlines prevented the vertical aluminium fins aspect of the balcony’s balustrading system from being installed via scaffolding from the street. The Sarah team used their design and constructability experience to redesign the elements to allow for installation from within the building itself.
  • Expert Rescheduling to Stick To Program. Post demolition, the building sections to remain, were revealed to be structurally inadequate. A significant amount of rectification work and re-planning was required which threatened a 4 week delay to the program. In order to keep to schedule, Sarah re-sequenced the works to run concurrently with the next stage.

Client Outcomes

  • Perfect Program Delivery. The best outcome for the client was that the project was delivered on brief and on time. Sarah undertook the work with total commitment to deliver as per the program. The Sarah team reconfigured all aspects of the project to honor their word.
  • Impressive Quality & Aesthetic. The school is absolutely delighted with the quality and look of the finished product. The nautical theme of the façade – consisting of round windows, rope details and textured, light yellow concrete, with the appearance of sand – is a talking point. The spotted gum timber ceilings as well as the corrugated and perforated metal ceiling are also impressive features.
  • Contemporary & Sustainable Learning Solutions. The redeveloped school features open learning spaces to facilitate more collaborative, flexible learning in accordance with contemporary learning ideals. It also has an eco-friendly artificial turf pitch and outdoor ‘nature play’ area, constructed from all natural materials, which echoes the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Sarah Value-Add

  • Minimal Disruption To Students. Sarah configured all heavy works, like structural steel and pre-cast installations, to be completed at times when children weren’t on site, to maintain safety. Any materials that needed to go through the school were moved after school hours, and electrical cabling and fire safety works were conducted over a series of weekends to avoid service outages impacting students.
  • Collaboration & Communication. With the site located in such a densely built-up area, effective communication with the school and its surrounding neighbours was paramount. This is where Sarah’s collaborative approach really came to the fore, particularly in preparation for the pre-cast concrete erection which required the relocation of the neighbors over a two night period to a nearby hotel which allowed the concrete erection to proceed in a safe manner.
  • 100% Commitment to Delivery On Time. The Sarah team ensured that every single date of the program was hit. Even when delays were threatened, the team pulled out all of the stops to ensure delivery would be on time. This included re-sequencing trades to happen concurrently in order to catch-up any delays, which required expert coordination and logistics management.

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