Canberra’s public school facilities are being renewed with new learning spaces, toilets and change rooms, garden and horticultural facilities, heating and cooling upgrades and energy efficiency improvements. Belconnen High School is receiving refurbished technology areas, upgraded outdoor learning and teaching environments and roof replacements. While other projects will expand the capacity of Harrison School, Gold Creek School, Neville Bonner Primary School and Palmerston District Primary School and increase the capacity of the new primary school in North Gungahlin, creating room for another 844 students. We will also carry out scoping and early planning for new schools in the Molonglo Valley and East Gungahlin, to ensure good local schools grow alongside these new communities.
We are focused on providing healthy and comfortable teaching and learning spaces to maximise the learning outcomes for all children. Ecological Sustainable Development (ESD) plays a key role in achieving this goal through project design and the efficient management of natural resources. The Directorate’s strategic priorities for ESD align with the ACT Government’s commitments to; energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, waste minimisation and resource recovery, water efficiency, living infrastructure, sustainable procurement and sustainable transport.
Climate-change-and Future Schools
Sustainable design is integrated into new schools, major projects and capital upgrades to support the ACT government’s 2045 net zero greenhouse emission target. The target established under the ACT Climate Change and Greenhouse Reduction Act 2010, has driven significant progress including the uptake of renewable energy and the integration of sustainable design principles across the ACT public school portfolio.
The provision and upgrade of sustainable school infrastructure is viewed as key to supporting teaching and learning activities and is a visual statement of the ACT Government’s commitment to a sustainable future for current and future generations.
In 2019 the new Margaret Hendry School was the first ACT Public School designed to operate using 100% electricity. This enabled the school to take advantage the ACT’s transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2020 and produce zero emissions in its operations. The school integrates sustainable design features including onsite generation of electricity via a 100kW solar array, solar passive design, natural ventilation, double glazing and energy efficient heating and cooling systems.
Energy Efficiency and Building Comfort
To assist schools to be more efficient in their energy use and improve the comfort of students and staff, a program of targeted upgrades and building audits is undertaken annually. The program includes building envelope improvements to enable better maintenance of internal temperatures by preventing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, improved efficiency of building heating and cooling systems to assist in reducing gas and electricity usage, and capacity building through the provision of skill development workshops and information sessions for Building Service Officers and Business Managers.
Recent projects include double glazing upgrades to select areas at North Ainslie Primary School (building on an open plan classroom and corridor upgraded 2016-17), Southern Cross Early Childhood School and Wanniassa Hills Primary School. Energy monitoring is taking place to determine the effect of the works on energy consumption. Significant improvement in student and staff comfort has been recorded.
The pool facilities at the Active Leisure Centre at Erindale College have been undergoing works to repair tiles that have been lifting off the walls and floor of the main pool. These repairs were due to be completed by February 2019.
When the pool was drained and tiles removed, it became apparent that the concrete screed between the pool shell structure and the tiles had failed and this was the cause of the tile failure. The contractor commenced removing the concrete screed to uncover the pool shell structure. This work was completed in mid-December and unfortunately revealed further issues associated with the construction and expansion joints of the pool shell structure, electrical earth bonding and water filter outlet jets. The additional rectification work to complete the repairs will now take longer with the pool now scheduled to reopen to members and the public by the start of Term 3, 2019.
We understand the frustration of having the pool unavailable over this time of year and for longer than anticipated. However, with repair works of this nature, it is sometimes not possible to know the full extent of the issues underneath the surface until they are discovered. While all efforts are being made to complete the repairs as quickly as possible, it is important that these are completed to a high standard to ensure the longevity of the facilities for many years to come.
Erindale College Active Leisure Centre Pool Repairs Timeline
Main pool area of failed tiles Oct 2018
Empty toddler pool tiles Oct 2018
Main pool prior to removal of screed Nov 2018
Main pool end of grinding task Dec 2018
Main pool with new screed in place Mar 2019
Pool being filled for hydrostatic testing Feb 2019
Main Pool Tiling April 2019
Toddler Pool Tiling April 2019
Main Pool Tiling June 2019
Toddler Pool Tiling June 2019
The repair work continues on the pool complex with the new tiles now in place. Some minor repairs and maintenance work has also been done to the change rooms, including new tapware, improved lighting and a fresh coat of paint. The recommissioning of the pool plant and equipment has commenced and the filling of the pool will commence in late June.
The Erindale Pool is an important community facility to encourage and support an active and healthy lifestyle. Regular updates will be provided to ensure the community is up-to-date with the progress of repairs and any changes to the reopening date.
If you have any further questions about the building works, please email ICWdirectorsoffice@act.gov.au or phone 6205 3227. For questions on your membership, please contact the Active Leisure Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org
Better schools for our kids is a key priority of the ACT Government who is investing in initiatives to improve our schools and build state-of-the-art facilities.
A school modernisation has commenced at Campbell Primary School and Narrabundah College. Some buildings at both sites are nearing sixty years of age and have reached the end of their useful life. Over time, the fabric of the buildings has altered, and walls are subject to cracking. Due to friable asbestos material being present, some of the existing buildings cannot be upgraded. Therefore, these buildings will be safely demolished. The air monitoring levels have continued to confirm there is no detection of asbestos in the air.
The installation of 22 new transportable buildings at Narrabundah College provides contemporary learning and teaching spaces, as well as break out areas for students, and a range of specialist learning spaces to support the quality learning we have come to know from Narrabundah College, and all our ACT public schools.
These new spaces for the Science, Arts, English, Philosophy, History, Politics, Learning Support and French Baccalauréat faculties, will serve the students of this school community well, providing them with a comfortable, bright and spacious learning environment or ‘village’ as it’s affectionately referred to. The transportable buildings are fully insulated and have energy efficient reverse cycle air conditioning.
Students and staff commenced teaching and learning in these contemporary classrooms at the start of term 3, 2018.
The three aged double storey buildings, Blocks B, C & D (located at the northern end of the college site) have been closed off and will be demolished safely by expert contractors in periods when students are not at school.
The demolition process will follow these steps and the work is expected to be completed in term 1, 2019.
Narrabundah College will work with the college community to involve them in the planning and design of learning spaces for the future. The community will be informed about the opportunities to be part of this planning phase and we encourage the college community to think about the type of modern school they would like.
Campbell Primary School
The modernisation of Campbell Primary School is well under way with the demolition of the aged buildings (Block B and the Annexe) completed during the 2017/18 summer holidays. Students and teachers moved into the 10 new transportable learning spaces at the start of the 2018 school year.
The ACT Government announced that the 2018-19 Budget will deliver $18.8 million to both replace buildings at Campbell Primary School with new, modern learning facilities and upgrade aging infrastructure. The construction of a new building and refurbishment of the Junior Wing and Library will be a part of the school’s modernisation and will occur over a period of four years. This work will deliver a contemporary learning environment and modern facilities for students, teachers and the local community.
The school community has been working together to shape the future learning spaces at the school and this information will be used to develop the master plan for the new buildings and modernisation of the school.
Resources for School Communities
- Frequently Asked Questions Narrabundah (79 kb)
- ACT Budget: Better Schools for our Schools
- Information about health-related matters are also available at: http://www.asbestostaskforce.act.gov.au/faqs/infosheets#health