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2015 : Creating an Education Precinct

In developing the master plan for the education precinct around Hazel Glen College, we came to realise just how many of them there can be.

What exactly are stakeholders?

Our stakeholders involved an extensive cast. Principals from neighbouring secondary colleges and primary schools, the Department of Education, Catholic Education, Whittlesea Council’s early learning, planning, traffic and roads, sport and recreation representatives, Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, Victorian State Government Architect, Victorian Government Review Panel, local parent pressure group representatives, the local mushroom farm and Scouts Victoria. With this extensive group to consult with it did seem strange that there was no student voice in the mix.

This was no ordinary master planning exercise.

The office of the Victorian Government Architect established a review panel and, during the design stages of the new K-12 College at Hazel Glen, provided valuable assessment and feedback on the planning and design of the new facilities. Consideration of the proposal as part of the whole education precinct has resulted in this new school providing for educators, students and the broader community for many years to come.

Our instinctive solution, to locate the new facilities at the top of the hill was overruled by the local council, who preferred that the new facilities to have a street address at the bottom of the hill. (Noting that there was no street at the bottom of the hill in existence at the time and it was not likely to be built until after the handover of the buildings). This expressed wish resulted in filling in a ditch, with fill that had to be imported, around trees that had to be protected (but were later removed via chain saw), on a road that didn’t exist without any services in place and only one legal point of discharge available.Not necessarily the most cost effective way to build.

Community partnership opportunities were well considered during the development of the new school. An offer came from the local mushroom farm to contribute to the new hospitality wing to bring the food technology teaching space up to commercial kitchen standard so the potential for the new adjacent performing arts center was realised.

This new building, completed in August 2016 will allow the Doreen community to participate in theatre, dining and social events in a fantastic new school facility. This project was initiated in 2012. The Primary Campus opened in 2013. The Middle Year Campus opened in 2014. The specialist facilities commenced construction in 2015 and were completed in 2016. The Senior Learning Centre is currently being documented and will be completed in 2017.

A truly fantastic stakeholder management exercise by Minx Architecture!

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