Belconnen High School Master Plan, ACT

client ACT Government, Department of Education & Training

location Hawker, ACT

project value $2.3 Million

area 83,000m2

role architecture & master planning

completion date December, 2014

The Department of Education and Training engaged peckvonhartel to deliver a comprehensive master plan for Belconnen High School. A core driver of this modernisation was to revitalise the presence of the high school within the local community and ensure it would be capable of supporting the growing demographic of families with late primary school aged students within its local community, and the corresponding enrolment pathway from a number of local primary schools, to Belconnen High School.

Since opening in 1971, the high school has undergone several upgrades resulting in a disjointed and underperforming education asset. Cellular planning and internalised corridors and circulation spaces limit the school’s capability to adapt to advances in pedagogy, and discouraged connection between each learning environment.

peckvonhartel explored a robust concept for the site and developed three potential master plans, which articulated a phased programme of refurbishment and new build works, and articulated costings for each option. peckvonhartel justified in quantitative and qualitative terms the return of capital expenditure that the master plan offered modelled against the forecasted enrolment numbers. This narrative supported the Department to secure funding for each phase of works.

Phase one involved the decanting of the Arts and Music Departments and creation of a new recreation space following demolition works. Phase Two works involved a reconfiguration of the school’s entrance and modifications to existing teaching blocks to support additional learning spaces. Phases three and four proposed reconfiguration works to the administration block to provide new classroom space, and also the construction of a new building to house the Arts Department.

From this programme of works, the ACT Department of Education and Training were able to procure four packages of work, ensuring Belconnen High School would continue to be a school of choice within the local community.