Over the last few months there has been quite some progress (although not quite as much as we originally planned) towards installing the two new pre-fabricated classrooms. As it has been a while since the last update here is a quick overview of progress over the last two years!
Installation of two new classrooms is scheduled for 2018 to allow for single stream classes. To minimise the impact of the building envelope on the surrounding bush (especially in light of more prescriptive Bushfire Regulations), on current play spaces and ease access to shared spaces, it was decided to locate the buildings on the old Quicke-Mart playground and shift the playground space east, next to the swings. Given the central location of the new classrooms in order to minimise disruption associated with construction and ensure a speedy installation, prefabricated buildings were selected for the classrooms. These have been designed to our specifications and echo aesthetics of current classrooms within the limits imposed by transportability.
Back in November 2016 we applied for a loan to assist with classroom construction under the Low Interest Loan Scheme (LILS) by the State Government through the Department of Education Services. In March 2017 we applied for a Capital Grant from the Federal Government (CGA). We have been successful in obtaining both with final confirmation received in December 2017 from CGA and LILS (with variations in security etc) in March 2018 . The budget for the project is $300,000 with $100,000 from the CGA and $170,000 from LILS.
Also in November 2017 we submitted a Development Application to the Shire which covered the construction of two classrooms, playground and extensions & enclosure of the Performing Arts Centre (this is our bushfire refuge in the unlikely event that we can’t evacuate so needs to be completed to conform with certain requirements). After we received approval from the Shire in March 2018 we went out to tender to four companies for the prefabrication and installation of the two new classrooms. After reviewing the tenders, obtaining CGA approval and finalising the loan we are very pleased to award the contract to Modular WA, the contract is to be signed on 28 June.
Schedule slippage due the lengthy delays in obtaining various approvals meant that installation would potentially clash with our the big event of the MRIS Open Day so we have deferred installation to the 2 week school holiday period between Term 3 and Term 4. This will simplify access issues for the project and means there will be no change to scheduled Pupil Free Days. The two classrooms be transported from the building yard in Perth as 4 modules and be lifted by crane into location – each module will weigh over 25t as they contain their own concrete slab – although this will be quite an operation it should be completed in 2 days!
Meanwhile we will organise construction of minor works such as the sand pad, the water tank for fire fighting purposes, the nature playground and the finishing of the project. In May we applied for and received a building permit for various sand pads and the construction of the 50,000L water tank located behind the Forest Grove Hall. You may have seen the water tank that was installed 23/06. The next activity you will see on site is clearing associated with the required Asset Protection Zone (APZ) under the Bushfire Management Plan. This is being done with input from the Bushland Management Team to minimise impact on the bush while maintaining spaces for unstructured play.
Finalising the project in Sep/Oct 2018 means parent availability to assist with tasks such as painting & other finishing tasks is limited due to concurrent demands of the Open Day, Art Auction and school camps. Fortunately the winning tender was a little lower than forecast so we have been able to shift some of these activities to contractors and remain within budget. For those eager to be involved, don’t worry there will still be plenty of activities to help with particularly associated with the new Nature Playground. If you are keen to assist, please contact June Cunningham. If you would like any further information either ask June or myself or watch this space for regular updates as the project now accelerates to the finishing line!
Jessica Worrall (MRIS Chairperson)