TAKING SHAPE: Fairbrother Construction and Joinery project manager Justin Last stands outside what will be the Port Sorell school’s administration area. Pictures: Sonia Byrnes.THE construction contract for the new $10 million primary School at Port Sorell could not have come at a better time for Fairbrother Construction and Joinery, according to Tasmanian general manager Peter Killick.
The construction of the new school, which has not been without controversy, has involved more than 60 people a week since construction began earlier this year.
An administration building and three separate learning pods, complete with classrooms common meeting areas, toilets and common learning areas, is well underway on the site.
Mr Killick said when the contract to build the school was awarded it was a welcome boost at a much-needed time, keeping work for the company ticking along for 12 to 18 months.
He said the North-West had more construction happening now than it had for the past 20 years, with big projects going ahead at both ends of the Coast, including Port Sorell, Devonport Burnie and Smithton.
The 350-pupil school will need to be complete by November, with pupils looking to move into the school for the start of the new school year in early February.
Project manager Justin Last said the architecturally designed administration block needed to be finished by mid-September to allow teaching and administration staff to move into the building before the new school year.
Mr Last said there were provisions in the plans to construct additional classrooms in the future should there be the need.
The building has been constructed using a green star rating with plantation timber frames, instead of steel, and solar panels.
A column of laminated cypress pine and exposed timber beams is an impressive feature at the entrance of the administration block while all around the school covered walkways of exposed timber add an interesting effect.
Mr Last said inside the common learning areas a tiered exposed Tasmanian oak ceiling would be used instead of plaster and a 350 square metre indoor meeting area with removable stage and bi- folding doors that open onto an outdoor amphitheatre would be made available for school and community use once the building was completed.
“It would be the perfect place for community groups to hold meetings and on a nice day you could have Carols by Candlelight outside or a concert with the stage facing out,” he said.
The school will have two car parks and spaces for about 200 cars.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.