Premis Project: Stretton State College

Located in Stretton in Queensland, Stretton State College is a high-performing school with an enrolment of over 3200 students across its primary (Gowan) and secondary (Illaweena) campuses. Opening in 2006, the College has a progressive and diverse reputation. In its short history, it has established itself as a welcoming, inclusive community where students from all backgrounds and walks of life can learn and achieve together. The College’s strong school community extends to its supportive families, wonderful staff, hard-working P&C Association, and a valued network of inspiring Stretton alumnae. 

In July of last year, the Premis team was engaged by the Department of Education and strategic planning and project management company Turner & Townsend, to undertake new construction works on the Primary Campus, which is known as Gowan. The school-aged population of the Stretton community has continued to grow, which meant that a building reconfiguration was required to continue to meet in-catchment enrolment demand in both the short and medium-to-long term.

New Year, New Facilities! 

Beginning at the end of July 2020, the project’s timeline was set at 12 weeks, to ensure that construction was completed in time for the beginning of the school year in January 2021. It was critical that the school remained operational throughout this time, and that the project caused the least amount of impact possible to staff and students.

Works required the infilling of the bottom level of the new three-storey Learning Centre, which included the fit-out of ten new general learning areas (GLAs), breakout spaces, two kitchens, a staff and meeting room and storerooms. Part of the build included the installation of eight operable walls. This allowed the area to remain as one large open space or to be split into separate rooms — the focus was on functionality!

As is always the case on any Premis project, the safety of staff and students was paramount during the build. Temporary fencing was installed around the entire construction site, including on the site compound, to minimise the impact on the school’s daily activities. A fire egress — which ensures fire escapes are unimpeded and can be used safely in an emergency — was also put in place to ensure the safe entry and exit for all. Additionally, any work that affected this egress was performed on weekends or after hours to reduce the impact on daily school operations and keep everyone safe.

In terms of other challenges? Water shutdowns were required to allow the Premis team to liaise closely with the school administators outside of hours to mimise the impact on staff and students. And then there is COVID-19 … which continues to require careful negotiation in terms of workplace health and safety. To mitigate risk, site personnel were spread out across the site to ensure the appropriate number of people in a defined space was adhered to.

Meal and rest breaks for the project’s tradespeople were also staggered, and an additional area was set up to allow everyone working on-site to maintain the required social distancing… while enjoying some work “down-time”!

COVID-19 also impacted the supply of required materials – Premis was able to source alternative materials and equipment, bringing the project in ahead of time and under budget. This is a prime example of why the Premis team is so highly respected in the industry.