Whakaronga school is a dynamic, rural primary school in the Manawatu with a focus on collaborative learning. The school has embraced the Flexible Learning Environment (FLE) philosophy and engaged Maycroft to reconfigure existing classrooms to create a more flexible learning setting for students and teachers.
We merged three sets of classrooms, using steel portal frames to provide additional building bracing. Timber framing was added before Autex linings were installed, an ideal backdrop for the student’s artwork.
Our work also included upgrades to exits to improve accessibility, upgrades to fire alarms, installation of insulation and new flooring and joinery. The carpet tiles were laid in a striking Koru design incorporating the existing columns. The alterations offer Whakarongo’s 500 students a warmer, more accessible and overall more modern school.
The school remained operational during construction, requiring careful attention to noise and stringent use of exclusion zones to keep students safe. It was a requirement of the contract that only two classrooms could be out of action at a time, so we had to carefully plan and coordinate works to achieve this. Some major works such as the concrete floor and roof replacement were scheduled for school holiday periods.
Adding further challenge, the school is located just off a main highway and traffic is particularly busy around student drop-off and pick-up times. To prevent further congestion, we scheduled material deliveries for outside peak hours.
Due to the age of school, several unexpected issues were encountered during construction. For example, removal of the roof sheeting exposed rotten timber purlins and inadequate insulation, both of which required remediation. Maycroft endeavoured to mitigate any programme delays associated with this additional work outside our original scope.