Belconnen High School Master Plan, Murranji Street, Hawker ACT 

role Master planning, Architecture & Interior Design client Department of Education area 8.3 ha completion date December 2014

The Department of Education engaged peckvonhartel to deliver a master plan for the future upgrade and reconfiguration to modernise Belconnen High School, including both internal and external areas. 

The school has undergone several upgrades since its opening in 1971; with each upgrade responding to changing functional and educational requirements. At its peak enrolment, the school’s capacity reached approximately 1000 students for years 7 to 10. Current enrolment is around 400 students due to changing demographics in the Belconnen area and the ageing of the current facility. It is predicted that with an influx of young families to the area, updated and new facilities will be required to meet the predicted increase in enrolment in the near future. 

While the previous upgrades met immediate requirements, the long-lasting effects have created a school in need of a complete major upgrade. Three alternate Master Plan proposals for Belconnen High School were designed to change the existing closed and insular nature of the school. Internalised corridors and cellular planning limit the adaptability of space available and discourage connection between learning areas. Each master plan concept objective clearly demonstrates through graphical and quantitative evidence, the best return of capital expenditure while meeting the schools projected enrolment requirements. Each outcome also presented obtainable qualitative outcomes that best enhance the school’s operation and best capitalise on the available site.