ABOUT THE PROJECT
Prahran High School will provide a standalone co-educational secondary school for 650 students. The school will open in Term 1, 2019 with its first cohort of year 7. The school will be built adjacent to an existing educational precinct that includes Melbourne Polytechnic and the National Institute of Circus Arts.
This new innovative vertical school will feature an open atrium at the centre of the building, modern teaching areas, a main performance space and outdoor areas on every level. A series of cascading bleachers will interconnect the various levels allowing for ease of circulation while also promoting social interaction and physical movement.
Prahran High School will be a modern and exciting place to learn.
On the ground floor will be the library, music and drama facilities to fully utilise the large ceiling heights.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 will house the science, art and food technology spaces to take advantage of the northern aspect with direct access to the outdoor learning terraces.
In addition, learning, ICT and break out areas are incorporated throughout the building.
The school's gym will be located on level 3 with direct access to a large outdoor recreational zone that includes a rebound court, running track and protective netting.
On level 4 a rooftop play area will allow students their own space for passive recreation. This area will have trees and a garden.
Outdoor terraces on every floor provide access to fresh air and sunlight and offer various outdoor learning opportunities. The laneway will be activated during school times to provide additional areas of play.
The architect for this project is Gray Puksand.
A builder will be appointed for this project shortly.
A Principal will be appointed in Q2/3, 2018.
Details on how to enrol your child will be published in 2018.
A collaborative approach
A New School Planning Group, NSPG, was established to oversee the design and development of the school. This Group is made up of parents, educational experts, project planners and representatives of the community. This group meets regularly to provide advice to the architects as they progress through the stages of designing the new school.
The first task for the NSPG was the creation of an Education Specification for the school. This process determines what kind of school the community and department wants for the site and serves as a brief for the architects.
The Education Specification determined that Prahran High School should be a standalone, co-educational school for years 7-12 with a full spectrum of facilities. It highlighted that inclusivity should be a focus of the design as well as the use of suitable technologies. Educational opportunities through collaboration with the established educational precinct, arts community and commercial organisations in the area were also highlighted. How the school facilities can be used by the community was also part of the brief.
The architects used the Education Specification to prepare a Master Plan which was taken back to the NSPG for endorsement.
Demolition to the existing seven storey building will commence from late March 2017 and is expected to take ten weeks to complete.
Construction is expected to commence from mid-2017 and continue until late 2018, which will ensure the school is ready in time for the start of the 2019 school year.
A New School Planning Group (NSPG) was established to oversee the design and development of the school. The NSPG is made up of parents, educational experts, project planners and representatives of the community. This group meets regularly to provide advice to the architects as they progress through the stages of designing the new school.
Residents within the immediate building site will receive information about key project milestone dates and the wider community will receive notification about student enrolment and school opening dates.
Once the Principal is appointed there will be engagement around the school educational vision.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How will students access each level?
A large centralised staircase allows student and teaching staff to access each level of the school including the rooftop area. Lifts have also been incorporated to ensure accessibility for all occupants.
Noise level once the school is open?
The Authority is working with the architects to ensure that the acoustic performance of the building causes minimal noise disturbance.
Where is the school’s main entry point?
To ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff, the main entry point into the school will be from High street via the administration area. An entrance along St John street will help divert foot traffic during peak periods of the day. Appropriate security measures have been incorporated into the building design, such as surveillance equipment, a 1.8m fence and security swipe cards or keypad.
How will students get to school?
Prahran High School is located near multiple bike paths and close to train, tram and bus stops. Prahran and Windsor railway train stations are each approximately a ten-minute walk from the school. Buses and tram stops are also located on High and Chapel streets and a bike storage area has been incorporated into the school building design.
Will there be any specific parking allocated to the school?
There will be no on-site parking provided for staff, instead, school staff and students are encouraged to consider public transport and other sustainable modes of transport.
How will the school manage additional traffic once the school opens and disruption to traffic during construction?
The Victorian School Building Authority is working with the City of Stonnington to ensure minimal disruption to local residents. This involves commissioning an independent traffic management report to inform the City of Stoninngton about relevant traffic constraints during the construction stage and changes to local parking conditions once the school has been built.
Will construction impact local pedestrian walkways near High street?
Before demolition begins, the site will be fenced off between High, Thomas, St John streets, and Melbourne Polytechnic. This will disrupt access to the laneway between Building E and the carpark off Thomas and High streets.
Is there any asbestos in the old building?
To determine if there was any asbestos in the building, a licensed Occupational Hygienist attended the site and submitted samples to a lab for testing. The results found asbestos adhesive under the existing floor coverings and in the sealant of the glazing units. Asbestos was also identified in the lining to service cupboards.
The State Government is committed to ensure all Victorian school buildings are free of dangerous asbestos, including during demolition of existing buildings. All material containing asbestos will be removed in accordance with safety regulations by qualified contractors. All works to remove asbestos will be undertaken by licensed asbestos removal specialists and air-quality testing will be performed by an occupational hygienist throughout the removal process.
Notification will be provided to residents in close proximity to the site. The removal of asbestos will be completed before commencement of the demolition.
Will construction have an impact on the local environment?
Prahran High School will be one of the first vertical schools in Victoria and will rejuvenate public secondary education at this inner-suburban location. This new model of schooling requires innovative design to address the challenges of developing urban sites for education, including issues associated with space, access and contribution to a sustainable environment.
As part of our rigorous design process, a number of options were tested for their feasibility. To achieve the best educational outcome, the school will be built to the site boundary across four levels. This will ensure the maximum flexibility of learning spaces to help meet a variety of student needs and ensure sufficient capacity for students in the surrounding areas.
As we are building to site boundary we will need to remove the 20 existing trees. All street trees on Thomas street will be retained. Three new mature trees will be planted on High Street and two new mature street trees on Thomas Street. In addition, all trees lost will be replaced at a rate of two to one. As these trees can't be planted on the site, they will be planted as close to site as possible subject to City of Stonnington approval.
The new school will include green terraces on each level facing High Street, and these will offer opportunities for biological and environmental studies. A landscaped roof terrace will also be included for active and passive recreation.
Will community members have the chance to be involved with the school council?
All Victorian Government school councils are constituted under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.
Once the school council has been formed, consideration will be given to community members being co-opted to bring additional skills and perspectives to the group.
Will there be any community consultation?
Residents surrounding the school site will receive information about key project milestone dates and the wider community will receive notification about student enrolment and school opening dates.
Once the Principal is appointed there will be engagement around the school educational outcomes.
The Principal will be appointed mid-2018.
The principal, once appointed, will work with the school council to develop an enrolment plan. The initial enrolment will be for Year 7 only.
Primary schools are responsible for ensuring each Year 6 student has a place in a secondary school for Year 7. The transition process through the primary schools will begin in May 2018.
The Department of Education and Training's South East Victoria Regional Office helps schools with the enrolment transition process.
Policies on enrolment , placement, and admission are available on the Department of Education and Training website
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