All hands-on deck as SHAPE engages 300 high school students in the redevelopment of Golden Grove High School

Recently, SHAPE was engaged by The Department for Education (DFE) to deliver a $15.5 million redevelopment of Golden Grove High School (GGHS) in Adelaide’s north-east. The project included the construction of two new two-storey buildings, one comprised of general learning areas for Year 7 and Year 8 students, the other a performing arts centre. With the works taking place in an occupied high school, GGHS and SHAPE saw an opportunity to provide learning experiences for senior students. This led to SHAPE engaging 300 students in the Golden Grove redevelopment to consult on the design.

The performing arts building consisted of a dance studio with change rooms, two large drama rooms, a teachers’ room on the ground floor, a Year 12 area on the first floor, and a lift. The Year 7/8 building consisted of several multipurpose classrooms, toilets, teachers’ rooms, a large gallery space for classroom presentations, and a lift. The landscaped areas between the two buildings tied them together and consisted of a spacious grass mound area alongside tiered seating area that faced a timber stage for outdoor classes. The main distribution board was also replaced, and an extension was added to the carpark, which SHAPE coordinated during the school holiday period.

During the design delivery phase, SHAPE worked closely with the consultant team and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) to complete buildability and value management investigations. This phase involved numerous workshops and the team worked closely with preferred subcontractors to maximise value-for-money. Through this process, SHAPE was able to achieve significant cost savings while ensuring the buildings met the needs of GGHS and without compromising the design intent.

One of the highlights of this project was the student innovative immersion programme, where several students took part in construction – from bricklaying to landscaping. As part of the programme, SHAPE’s Senior Project Manager Kara Cursaro mentored a Year 12 student for their school research project. SHAPE’s Site Manager Russell Tarca alongside Lee miller and Angus Doolette held “Learn To Build” workshops with the students enrolled in the school’s ‘technologies’ subject, and our trades engaged in workshops which saw two students commence work with our landscaper following their completion of the school year.

During this immersive experience Year 10 students were also given the opportunity to be ‘on the tools’, completing their work experience on site as they assisted landscapers to build the gardens. The aim of this immersion project was to open the students’ minds to a career in building and the trades. A student from GGHS stated that “It was something different to a normal lesson and something I had never considered for a career so a great opportunity to see how it all works”. Year 10 student Jake had not only completed his work experience but was also offered a job in the trades.

We have connected over approx. 120 hours which is fabulous. Thank you for the opportunities the students had within curriculum-based learning, VET immersion, Career Immersion, and overall knowledge improvement. A wonderful initiative and one we have greatly benefitted from.

Golden Grove High School
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