Hall Access - A new fenced walkway to our Hall has been installed and we will start using this soon. This means that we can still access and use the Hall safely.
Relocatable Classrooms - Relocatable classrooms (right of the image and labelled 1, 2, 3) are now on site. They could not be located in a line due to services which are buried under our field. We will move Room 1, 2 and 3 to these when they are ready for use.
Temporary Admin and Offices - While we were moved in and were operating for Monday this week, we continue to work through small issues to ensure a smooth operation of this area. We have identified some challenges which we could not imagine until we were actually ‘in’ the spaces and are working on plans to overcome them.
Demolition - One of the questions we have been asked about is the demolition work planned and how asbestos in the buildings will be managed. Over the term break work on an ‘Asbestos Removal Communication Plan’ started. More detail of this will be shared when finalised with OPS whānau and our immediate neighbours. Please be assured that this work will be carried out by a qualified asbestos removal contractor approved by the Ministry of Education. All asbestos removal work will be completed out of school hours and air monitoring at the work site boundary will be in place for the duration of the work. As mentioned above, please make contact if you have questions!
Planning is in place to minimise any disruption to our school operation. If there are any issues or changes, we will communicate these on our website and OPS Facebook page. We encourage you to check these places before the start of Term 3.
Temporary Admin BlockWork is progressing well and we are working towards moving from our existing space into the new space late in the second week of the break.
Relocatable ClassroomsThese will come onto site very soon. Foundations and decks for these are well underway.
PowerThe generators we have on site currently powering the school will go after this week and we will be back on mains power. We have another generator back from the start of Term 3 to make sure we have a reliable power supply for our school. A new transformer will be installed but this will take some time.
ServicesThese are being moved from their current location in the admin block down to our hall. There will be trenches created at the front of the school for this. These will be filled in ready for the start of Term 3. By completing this work in the break we hope to minimise impact on school operation.
Hall AccessThere will be a new path around behind Room 7 and 8 created for access from inside the school to the hall over the term break.
Property Update - happening next week...
- You may have heard we have had a few issues with our electricity supply. We have brought a generator onsite to help with the additional electrical demand until a new transformer is installed as part of the building project.
- This week preparation has started for our temporary classrooms to replace Room 1, 2 and 3. We will not be moving into these rooms until a couple of weeks into next term. The significant fenced off area is to allow for trucks to enter and turn in the grounds, while keeping children safe.
- The temporary admin block is progressing. We are working towards moving into the admin block in the second week of the holiday break.
- While some work has started with connection of services, the majority of this will have to occur once the term is finished.
We look forward to sharing more about creating our very own area for traditional Māori games and aro-tākaro (play items). You can find out more in this article soon.
Temporary Admin Block Today contractors started drilling holes in the ground under the temporary admin block for foundations. We anticipate the work preparing the temp admin block for use will take until mid-late July. The building has been temporarily moved over to allow for drilling and will be moved back into position close to the fence and current admin block as soon as possible.
Temporary ClassroomsWork is underway to get more temporary classrooms on the field. Setting up a fenced work area will be the first part of this.The fenced area will close off the end of our field and around the location of the new classrooms for a number of weeks. Once these are installed and connected up and the fencing is removed there will be a bit more field area for children to play in.
Creating A WorksiteWe have made the decision to totally fence off the three projects from the school (admin, classrooms and connecting services) to avoid contractors and vehicles on the field where children have access. This means that there will be a period while the fences are up where there is a large part of the field fenced off, but also means we can ensure safety for students
Mrs Arthur will be attending professional development next week to learn about traditional Māori games and aro-tākaro (play items). You can find out more in this article. Our plan is to use trunks from the trees which are being removed as part of a project which will come from this new learning.
Property Update - happening next week...
- This Saturday, arborists will be on site to remove the three trees from beside the field, which were identified by the arborist as nearing the end of their lives, in preparation for our temporary buildings and later Stage 1 of our major build project. We will have a wood chipper on site to ‘chip’ any parts of the trees which can’t be used in our future ‘aro-tākaro’ play area. If there is any left over wood chips after we have used some around the school, we will advertise this to our OPS community.
- Excavators will be on site next week to start drilling for the foundations of the temp admin block.
Since the Minister of Education’s announcement last term about funding approval for our new classrooms, things have been moving fast! Many of you came to the Library while Whānau Connect was on and saw how the vision and values which have been developed from community consultation have guided our planning process so far for building. This display will be in the library (along with Paul, Megan or Viki) before school in the mornings and after school until 3.30pm most days for the next week. We encourage you to come along and have a look at our planning so far.
Fortnightly property meetings are now underway with our OPS team and external contractors. There is a significant amount to do over the next few months. Our focus is on both detailed design for the building, and the temporary admin and classroom blocks which will be used during construction.While there are a lot of meetings and a lot to consider, we are really enjoying the very collaborative process with the Ministry of Education and Jasmax (lead designers).
Temporary BuildingsWe are also meeting with the contractors who will get our temporary admin block and more relocatable classrooms ready to use on site. Once we get building consent from the council for the temporary admin block and the new relocatable classrooms we will have more idea about time frames for moving into the temporary spaces and when demolition will occur.
Landscape DesignOne of the amazing opportunities this project gives us is the opportunity to be really strategic about our decisions. We know our current school site feels a bit like this has not been the case over the years! This means not only thinking about the building, it's also thinking about the outside environment. As you will have seen from the initial designs we have shared in our Library, when the two stages of our master plan have been completed, we will not only get all of our field back, we also gain a significant area for outdoor play and learning in the central area of our school.Along with architects for buildings, we have been working with a Landscape Architect who is part of the Jasmax team. He has met with our ‘Sustainability Committee’, our parent gardening group, and was taken on a tour of the school by some of our student enviro group. This group of students helped him to understand what is important in our school, to assist with landscape planning. They are really excited to be able to help plan the planting of trees in the future, which will encourage and support native birds and insects.An arborist has reviewed the many established trees on our site to help with planning. There are some which have been identified as dying off due to age and will need to be removed, and others which will need to be removed as part of the project. Our aim is to maintain as many established trees as possible, especially the natives around our site.
Demolition ProcessThe timing for moving into new spaces and demolition will be quite tight. What is really exciting is that the contractors who do this work manage to recycle about 80% of the materials from the buildings. This fits really well with our sustainability philosophy.
Health and SafetyA big part of our planning is considering how our site will operate as a school while this major project is underway. There is a team who is working specifically on the many aspects of this.
Website UpdatesLater this term we will set up a page on our website with property updates on it. This will be shared initially via our newsletter.One of the projects we want to set up is the making of a timelapse movie about our building process. Ideally we would involve a group of students who are in Year 3 and 4 so that they can continue to add to it throughout this process. If you are interested in getting involved in this project or have expertise you can share with us, please email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions or come in and see us before and after school in the Library over the next week.
Last Friday’s announcement by the Minister of Education was a significant one for our school. The journey to get to this announcement has been going on since before I arrived in 2014. There have been 3 Boards of Trustees who have worked very hard to get us here. We have had challenges and some disappointments along the way but we kept pushing forwards to get our OPS community the school and learning spaces they deserve.
“Onehunga Primary School is in desperate need of further space to teach in – and will see a new three-level block built with 14 teaching spaces, library and admin space,” Chris Hipkins announced during a visit to the school today.“This includes four roll growth classrooms, at a total allocation of $14.5 million. Construction is estimated to begin later this year.”
While it is a bit of a ‘sigh of relief’ to finally get to this point, there is no time to stop and rest. As many of you have already seen over the last two afternoons in our library, planning is well underway for the redevelopment of our school site in two significant stages. All of our planning has been guided by our OPS Vision, Values and Principles - the teaching and learning approaches which we believe will achieve our goals for our children.The preliminary designs shared and the Key Design Concepts we shared in the Library this week will be available on our website early next term. We aim to keep the page updated as this very exciting project progresses.
OPS Redevelopment Project Timeline 2014 - 2023 (added April 2021)
Please note that this timeline is only tentative as of April 2011