Planning for your capital expenditure really starts with discussion about your initial ideas for your project. Talking with Greenline during the ideas phase is the perfect starting point. We have been a part of this process with many schools and have been able to address and successfully solve just about any potential difficulty that a site can face. At this stage of the process, Greenline are purely taking an advisory or consultative role and we draw on our extensive experience and skills. We are there providing advice and ideas, utilising our experience in the education field, and you can throw it all on the table because chances are, we’ve seen it and we’ve solved it. This is consultation, discussion, spit-balling. There are no quotes or drawings, we are aiding and advising you, the client, to explore your options.
Planning really starts with discussion about your initial ideas for your project. Talking with Greenline during the ideas phase is the perfect starting point. We have been a part of this process with many schools and have been able to address and successfully solve just about any potential difficulty that a site can face. At this stage of the process, Greenline are purely taking an advisory or consultative role and we draw on our extensive experience and skills. We are there providing advice and ideas, utilising our experience in the education field, and you can throw it all on the table because chances are, we’ve seen it and we’ve solved it. This is consultation, discussion, spit-balling. There are no quotes or drawings, we are aiding and advising you, the client, to explore your options.
Planning around your budget is important. We are very particular when it comes to allowing for contingencies, as project success can be severely compromised if something unexpected happens. We discuss potential issues, and we discuss preventions and solutions as part of the plan to manage those issues. The end goal is to avoid expensive delays and frustration, and to achieve your successful, completed project – on time and on budget. Whether funds are being utilised through Education Department funding, external grants or existing funds set aside, every dollar counts. Budget planning is your best insurance against budget blowout.
We’ll talk with you about timing. For example, will the building occur during the school term? There can be real positives from term-time construction. Teachers love being able to use the construction activity to practically demonstrate various concepts in a real-life setting. Measurements like distance, weight and volume and certainly some of the structural design aspects can be woven into lessons and classroom discussion. Another great aspect of term time construction is that the school and community can watch and enjoy the development and improvements as they happen. In cases where there has been targeted fundraising to achieve these improvements, being able to experience the project construction, as it happens, is really rewarding and satisfying. Safety is paramount and there can be periods of the construction phase where the site will need to be inaccessible as a precaution, however the concepts can still make a great, practical contribution to lessons. Term time construction can be a fantastic positive and instrumental for school spirit and pride.
During the times where more dangerous construction activities are occurring, it may be preferable to schedule work during holiday break times to minimise disruption and maximise safety on site. For work which includes craning over buildings, and possibly some demolition and excavation work, Greenline recommends scheduling during the school break. Safety is a primary concern and the proximity of student active locations to the construction zone must be thoroughly considered, and it’s an important part of your planning process.
We make sure the project outline is complete, inclusive of planned ancillaries like lighting, retractable sports equipment, tiered seating, bubblers and surfacing. Planning for these inclusions will really streamline your ability to use your space and achieve total multi purposing. If your covered court becomes the venue for weekly practical mathematics, it’s so much easier for everyone with amenities close by, a bubbler handy, or tiered seating for instruction and discussion. These additions and inclusions can all make your area work so well for you. Just the same as the little extras in your own home, they make things more comfortable to use and so you use it more.
Greenline will analyse and evaluate sequencing in your school. For example, is there the intention or planning underway for other projects? We look at whether the location of this project could obstruct your next planned improvement. We’ll look at how access will be managed, which is again about minimising disruption, and we talk with you about aesthetic success, making sure all improvements are complimentary to each other and to the final finished spaces. If you’re using or replacing surfacing, we discuss that scheduling with you – it is always last.
As part of the conversation around planning, we look at your return on investment (ROI). It’s great to take time out of the immediate project planning and to remember the end goal, what you and your school community will gain, and ROI is not just about a dollar return. We’ll help you to evaluate your school’s asset upgrade and enhanced aesthetics. We discuss how improving and enhancing your asset relates to your school’s improved education outcomes and population increase. Together with you, we examine ways to extend your use of existing assets and we work through your potential options. For example, could you add to the end of your existing hall which could then expand or close off as needed? Perhaps your covered court could also double as your large assembly hall and as a learning space. When you discuss and thoroughly plan your use of space, you can achieve so much – you take pressure off your classrooms, you can have specific spaces for particular activities and your education delivery gains efficiency. You can improve the visual appeal of the whole school with careful design and planned placement for more aesthetically pleasing premises and a more prestigious feel.
Talk to Greenline early on in your project development. We have worked with a lot of ideas for using spaces in school and we’ve successfully solved many issues facing schools. From their growing populations and the need for areas to be as multi purpose as possible to challenges presented by delivering education in a way that meets the needs of all students. If you start will thorough planning and expert, creative design, you can achieve the best outcome for effective use of space. Space your students and teachers love to utilise. Talk with Greenline today about how we can get started with you, planning your next Space to Grow.
Author: Stephanie Plane