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Co-location of schools brings benefits

Tom O'Leary Nov 11
Co-location of schools brings benefi ts
Avonside Girls’ High School and Shirley Boys’ High school will share facilities at their new site, including the library and performing arts centre and gymnasium.

In a joint venture with Christchurch’s Southbase Construction, CPB Contractors is delivering the design and construction phase of the third New Zealand Schools PPP initiative for the New Zealand Government.

This third New Zealand Schools PPP initiative includes the design and construction of four new primary schools in the North Island as well as the relocation and co-location of Shirley Boys’ High School and Avonside Girls’ High School in Christ-church, plus the operational services of the schools for 25 years.

CPB Southbase project director John McCullough says this will be the Ministry of Education’s first ever co-location of high schools.

He says that the co-location will provide both Shirley Boys’ High and Avonside Girls’ High, two broken schools needing rebuilds since the Canterbury earthquakes, with a better overall outcome.

“They will maintain their identities and all of the benefi ts of a single sex school education, while also benefiting from shared facilities,” he says.

“Through these shared facilities each school gets a level of amenity over and above what they would get if each school was built by itself.”

The schools’ shared facilities include their library and their performing arts centre, as well as their gymnasium, four full sized sports fields, and full sized hockey field which are all oriented towards the new QEII Park Recreation and Sports Centre which opened at Queens Birthday weekend.

“The idea is the school will become a community hub, both during school time and outside of those hours as well,” John says.

CPB Southbase is subcontracting to the ShapED consortium which was selected by the Ministry of Education to design, construct, and maintain the new schools.

The ShapED consortium is led by Morrison & Co, which has also led PPP consortiums which have delivered multiple schools under the two previous schools PPP contracts.

The contract has the schools designed, built, then operated by ShapED for 25 years before being handed over to the Ministry of Education.

Co-location of schools brings benefi ts

“The PPP allows the ministry to pay the debt like a mortgage over a 25-year period, and they and up with an asset which is well and truly above the level of finish and amenity of a standard school,” John says.

“Because the government isn’t paying for it up front, they get a higher value school which is less of a burden on the taxpayer.”

A higher value school because of the facilities themselves, the ICT technology available to both schools, and the long lasting and durable materials such as precast concrete and a variety of metal cladding used in the construction of this resilient structure.

CPB Contractors has a long history with PPP projects, and both CPB Contractors and Southbase Construction have delivered schools separately. This will be the two companies’ first school PPP joint venture.

John says challenging ground conditions on site were overcome by using column foundations, which were also utilised by in the construction of the recently completed new QEII Park Recreation and Sports Centre.

The construction programme is currently being met to be handed over to the ministry by March 18 2019, with the foundations and slab down, structural steel very well progressed, and the building starting to be closed in.

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