Amesbury School – Pōhutukawa Hub

When communities flourish, there is opportunity to develop local schools and services in ways to meet changing needs now and into the future. A rapidly growing roll gave Amesbury School in Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington the opportunity to develop much-needed space to engage ākonga (learners) in new ways.

The Ministry of Education engaged RDT Pacific as the Project Manager to help the school realise its dream to build a flexible learning space to grow with the school.

The unique new two-storey hub at Amesbury School has achieved more than extra space for this rapidly growing school. It features flexible learning spaces that can be modified to suit use and noise levels, as well as a sensory room, acoustically sealed music suite, a climbing wall and maker spaces.

A challenge for the project management team was to ensure the school stayed operational and disruption onsite was minimised during the two-year construction and site development phase.

This was further complicated by the school having to temporarily relocate 100 ākonga in the hall and library, while construction took place – a significant challenge for everyone involved.

The project faced a number of logistical challenges, with the country entering the second Alert Level 4 Lockdown the day after the construction site was established. The design team and contractor adapted quickly as supply chain issues caused material shortages, as well as skilled labour shortages – layering the complexity for the contractor.

Excellent working relationships and good communication with the school and across the wider project team were at the heart of this project’s success.

With space at a premium, the school was able to move the first group of 100 ākonga and kaimahi (staff) into the new hub before siteworks were completed outside. They quickly became acquainted with their new teaching and learning spaces before the building was blessed and opened eight weeks later on 10 November 2023.

RDT Pacific were engaged due to their extensive experience in the Aotearoa New Zealand education sector.

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