2021 Updates - OPS Property Development

2021 Updates - Property Updates

Property Update - This Week

  • New Temporary Administration - As we indicated in previous communication, we are operating our ‘office’ from the new temporary admin block. This move has meant we have been able to identify and work through any problems prior to moving children and classes to the relocatable classrooms.

  • Relocatable Classrooms - Work is ongoing on the new relocatable classrooms on the field. The room numbers will remain the same - for example Room 1 will still be called Room 1.

  • We are now preparing to move out of the rest of the spaces in the admin block - Rooms 1-3, our ESOL room and offices along the corridor and the Library. Room 1, 2 and 3 are planned to move into the relocatable rooms on the field on Aug 12 and 13. This move will not occur unless we are satisfied that classes are able to operate smoothly and safely in the new rooms.

  • New Toilet Block - A new temporary toilet block has been placed beside the admin block on the field. This is not yet operational.

  • Our Field - We still have large areas of our field fenced off to keep construction areas totally separate from play areas. There are some areas fenced off so that grass can re-grow. These will be opened again as soon as we can. There have been several days this week where our field has been closed (as it always is at this time of the year) due to it being too wet and muddy for use. We are always reluctant to close our field, but have to balance children’s need to run around with safety, how wet and muddy they will get and any long term damage which might occur to the grass surface in the wet.

  • Library - Our library is now closed for classes. We anticipate the library will not be available for class use for a month or two and have a couple of ideas about how we will get this up and running again as soon as we can. We are currently packing up all of our Library books to put into storage for what we hope will be a short period of time. It is a priority for us to have our library up and operational again as soon as possible.

  • Asbestos Removal - Today we have sent a letter to all of our staff and OPS whānau about the removal of asbestos before demolition occurs. You can see a copy of this at the end of this newsletter. Please note that all work will be carried out by a licenced asbestos removal company. Work will occur out of school hours and on weekends.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. vholley@onehungaprimary.school.nz

Property next week…Week 3 - 9-13 August

Concrete paths - paths to our new classrooms and toilet block will be made in Week 4.

Room 1-3 move 12 and 13 August - this will occur only if all work is completed.

Property in Week 4 - 16 - 20 August

Transformer - The installation of a new larger capacity transformer will occur on August 16-18. Please look out for information about the impact on pedestrian traffic to school over those days in next week’s newsletter.

Site Handover - Our plan at this stage is to have handed over the building site to Watts and Hughs in Week 4. Hoardings will be erected around the site and some new fences and gates for access to our school and admin will be installed.

We will share information about how you come into school from Arthur Street next week.

Notice of Asbestos Removal Work at OPS

Thursday 5 August 2021

Kia ora OPS community and staff

We are progressing well with our school’s property development. Once we have moved all administration, office and learning spaces into the temporary buildings on our field we hand these areas over to ‘Watts and Hughes Construction’ and licenced asbestos removal contractor - ‘Henderson Demolition’ to demolish the existing spaces in preparation for building Stage 1 of our new school buildings.

We have been updating you via our newsletters and the property section of our OPS website each week and will continue to do so as we progress.

As part of our communication it is important that we explain the demolition process and in particular inform you that like many other schools, there is asbestos which will be carefully removed as part of the demolition according to relevant legislation designed to keep everyone safe.

This removal work will be conducted from 16th August to Monday 6th September 2021. all work will be carried out on weekends and outside of school hours. This work may need to be rescheduled in the event of bad weather.

You can see more detail of this in the letter linked here which will be sent to our school’s immediate neighbours very soon.

Building materials containing asbestos were in widespread use in New Zealand and overseas until the 1980s because of its fire-resistant properties. Given the age of our school, asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are present, as they are in many New Zealand schools.

Where asbestos is left in place and is in good condition, it does not pose a significant health and safety risk. However if it is disturbed during refurbishment or demolition, there is a risk of asbestos fibres becoming airborne and creating a health risk. Because of this risk a very detailed and comprehensive demolition plan has been developed.

A survey has been completed by an independent Asbestos Management company to initially identify visible asbestos on our site. Once we hand over the site the asbestos management plan may be updated and added to following an inspection to see if there is any additional asbestos which we are not currently aware of.

The following safety measures will be put in place and maintained for the duration of this project:

  • Signs, barriers and/or temporary fencing will be installed.

  • PVA solution or water will be applied to asbestos containing materials to prevent airborne asbestos fibres dust (as required).

  • Asbestos containing materials will not be broken, where possible.

  • Plastic will be used to cover horizontal surfaces and surrounds.

  • Asbestos containing material will be wrapped on site and disposed of at an approved tip site

  • Air monitoring at the work site boundary will be in place for the duration of the work. If asbestos fibres above the allowable safe limit are detected, work will cease immediately and corrective measures applied

  • An independent party will carry out an inspection of the site on completion of the work, and issue a clearance certificate.

All asbestos removal work will be carried out outside of school operating hours. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Ngā mihi

Viki Holley


Onehunga Primary School

122 Arthur St, Onehunga,

Auckland 1061

ph 09-636 6256

As we shared on Facebook, our website and email sent before we came back last week, there has been a lot going on over the term break! You can find communications and updates we have given about our property developments in the ‘Property’ section of our website. This is updated regularly to ensure you have access to information when you need it.

If you have any questions about our property development and progress, please ask! While we try to anticipate what you might find interesting and important, we are happy to add further information if it is helpful! You are welcome to see me (Viki) or email me at vholley@onehungaprimary.school.nz

Now, is probably one of the busiest times in the property development process. We are juggling 3 separate worksites (the temp admin, the relocatable classrooms and the ‘enabling works’ (services, preparation for building).

At the same time work on detailed designs for stage 1 of our major build is underway and we have our school continuing to operate with learning, safety and wellbeing as extremely high priorities.

The image here shows both the new access to the temporary admin block and the area where demolition and stage 1 of our major build will occur.

Note the broken blue line shows the area which will be fenced off as the construction zone.

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!

Stage 1 Design - We are in daily communication with Jasmax our architects as the detailed design process occurs. There are a multitude of small and large considerations and decisions to be made in this process. Like all building or renovation projects, whether they are residential, commercial or education the challenge is finding a balance between our dreams for our new spaces and budget! We continue to work very hard to get the best possible spaces for our school and community.

A number of ‘design workshops’ occurred over the break. One of these was focused on colours and finishes for the interior spaces. Staff were given the opportunity to be part of this group. We are taking inspiration from our natural environment for this and look forward to sharing plans with you soon.

Our next workshop is about exterior finishes. One of the considerations with this is the cost of ongoing maintenance. For example, while wooden exterior cladding might seem a preferable option, long term the maintenance cost of this would impact hugely on our school operating budget

A significant amount of work will be occurring over the term break.For safety reasons we are minimising any staff on site and the SKIDS holiday programme has moved to St Joseph's Onehunga. We ask that you and your whānau stay away from all parts of the school site. There will be security onsite over the two weeks of the holiday period and anyone coming on to the school site around the clock will be asked to leave.
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.

The removal of 3 trees occurred last weekend (as shared in last week’s newsletter) and our children have had a great time playing in one of the piles of woodchips! The large tree trunks have been temporarily stored in the fenced off area at the front of the field until we are ready to use them.
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.
Connecting ServicesAs you can imagine the eventual removal of our administration blocks means many services which are connected have to be relocated... power, fire, security, data etc. Work will start in a couple of weeks to connect everything up. This will involve fencing off an area at the very front of the school to create a trench for cables underground. It should not impact the day to day operation of our school.
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. vholley@onehngaprimary.school.nz
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

2014 - 2021

  • OPS Values and Vision (based on staff and community consultation) used to complete Education Design Brief. OPS Education Brief updated multiple times over the 7 year period

  • OPS Board and Principal work to ensure a master plan is considered for the school rather than the addition of ad hoc classrooms

  • OPS Boards (over 2 three-year tenures) challenged MOE to combine roll growth classrooms and upgrade of classrooms into one project. Long drawn-out process, that was at times confrontational to finally receive desired results of an agreed long term version for the school

  • Roll growth projections continually presented to the MoE by the Principal raising concerns about expected growth that was not being factored by MoE

  • Protection of green space a key consideration for the Board

July 2020

  • Jasmax appointed as Lead Designer for OPS project

Oct - Dec 2020

  • OPS Team works with Jasmax to review and further develop the master plan for the OPS site

  • Master plan and preliminary designs submitted to the Ministry’s Investment Board for approval

March 2021

  • Temporary Admin Block on OPS site. Waiting for consents to be approved before work can start to ready it for use

March 2021

  • Minister of Education announces funding for OPS redevelopment plan Stage 1

Please note that times listed below are still tentative

March - April

OPS, Ministry of Education and Jasmax developing detailed designs. We are in the Developed Design phase. Detailed Design and Consenting phase will be May – August 2021.

31 March and 1 April

Preliminary designs and concepts shared with the OPS community.

Tentative Timeline

Late April 2021

Procurement process is on the way for the Main Contractor and they will be involved in the development of the design as soon as appointed.

March - June 2021 Additional temporary classrooms on site.

The decanting buildings will consist of 3 temp classrooms, a toilet block and an admin block. Relocation and installation of the admin block started in early March 2021 and subject to approval of building consent, expected completion is end May 2021. Installation of temp classrooms and toilet block to start end of April and expected completion is June 2021.

TBC - July 2021 - Demolition of Admin block, Library, ESOL Space, Offices and Room 1-4

The temp classrooms and admin building will need to be completed prior to this and consenting approval has now affected timeframes. Subject to structural investigations, Block 12 to be converted into temp library.

September 2021 - Construction Starts on Stage 1 (3 levels 14 learning spaces, staffroom, Library, admin and resource spaces)

Main Construction starts. Blocks 2, 4d, and 8 will be demolished and grounds to be reinstated at the end of construction.

End of Term 1/Early Term 2 - 2023 OPS occupy and use new block.

The demobilisation, removal and reinstatement of the decanting buildings, including the 2 x temp classrooms installed in 2020, will follow once the new building has been occupied.