Did you know that we’ve been building in the independent school sector for over 50 years?
With the recent completion of three significant institutional projects (and one of them being recognised as a National Award Winning Education Facility) we’re proud to uphold our reputation as a safe set of hands for private education institutions. In light of this, we thought we’d take a stroll down memory lane to see where it all began.
Our first (recorded) venture into the private education space came about in 1972, back when Rex McCorkell was running the show. The project involved upgrades and alterations to the matron’s flat and ‘Barbreck’ building at St. Catherine’s Girls’ School in Toorak, Victoria. This historical building is still in use today at the Junior School where it has become a vibrant hub for learning.
This key institutional project became a solid foundation for us to build on and it was around this time that McCorkell began to form relationships with some of Melbourne’s most prominent architects such as Peter Crone and Norman Day.
‘BARBRECK’, ST. CATHERINE’S GIRLS’ SCHOOL – c.1972
MATER CHRISTI COLLEGE – c.1980
CAREY GRAMMAR SCHOOL SPORTS COMPLEX – c.1985
Throughout the seventies and eighties, we continued to make a name for ourselves completing contracts for Westbourne Grammar School, Wesley College, Mater Christi College and Carey Grammar School, to name a few. In 1980, the Administration Building we constructed for Mater Christi College was awarded a Victorian Architecture Medal by the Royal Institute of Architects.
Fast-forward a few years (and out the other side of the recession) and we land in 2002 – the year that we completed the Mary Gonzaga Barry Sports Centre at Loreto Mandeville Hall.
This landmark project for Loreto Mandeville Hall’s Toorak campus included a 25m indoor pool, basketball court, multipurpose spaces, and an underground car park. The successful completion of this project was a significant achievement for us, and once again set the stage for the years to come.
As we grew over the next decade under new leadership, we secured contracts for building new learning environments, performing arts and STEM centres for the likes of Caulfield Grammar, Lauriston Girls’ School, Melbourne Grammar, Sacred Heart Girls’ College and Camberwell Grammar School.
This stream of increasingly larger and more complex institutional projects culminated in our landmark Ruyton Girls’ School Margaret McRae Centre. Designed by award-winning architect Woods Bagot, the building was a jewellery box of details that comprised a performing arts centre, classrooms, function rooms and science labs. The project was universally acclaimed and went on to be awarded the National Education Facility Award by Master Builders Australia in 2017.
MELBOURNE GRAMMAR SCHOOL – 2009
WHEELTON CENTRE, CAMBERWELL GRAMMAR SCHOOL – 2012
MARGARET McRAE CENTRE, RUYTON GIRLS’ SCHOOL – 2015
It was also around this time that our WA operations began to secure institutional contracts across Perth, building new facilities for Mercy College, Servite College and Corpus Christi. A true testament that our standard of quality spans across the country, the Corpus Christi College Theatre went on to be recognised by Master Builders WA, winning the Best Education Building $5-10m Award.
MERCY COLLEGE – 2015
SERVITE COLLEGE – 2020
CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE – 2019
At the close of the decade, our Victorian team completed the $23m Nicholas Learning Centre for Methodist Ladies’ College in Kew. This architecturally stunning flexible education building features 24 configurable learning spaces, a rooftop garden, and looks out onto the transformed Principal’s Terrace.
The completion of our works at Corpus Christi and MLC marked the beginnings of a new wave of institutional opportunities – these esteemed projects were shortly followed by securing new contracts for Salvado Catholic College in WA, and Fintona Girls’ School and Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School in Victoria. The monumental Annie Hughston STEM Centre and PEGS Gym have since received multiple industry awards and have set a benchmark for world-class education environments. Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School’s Gym has garnered wide success as the recipient of the 2021 Master Builders Australia National Education Facility Award.
MLC NICHOLAS LEARNING CENTRE – 2019
ANNIE HUGHSTON CENTRE, FINTONA GIRLS’ SCHOOL – 2021
PENLEIGH & ESSENDON GRAMMAR SCHOOL GYM – 2021
Backed by our long history of working with heritage structures and complex delivery methodologies, we were delighted to be awarded the contract for the Heritage Wing Project at Star of the Sea College in Brighton. A true representation of our mantra ‘we do the difficult’, this challenging project reached completion in mid-2022. Take a look at the sneak peek below!
STAR OF THE SEA COLLEGE – 2022
The last fifty years of working in the institutional sector have shown us that the key to longevity isn’t just consistent high-quality building – it’s also about creating and maintaining good relationships. Having clear lines of communication with schools, managing live environments and being considerate of the needs of students and teachers goes a long way.
This is how we’ve built our trust over the years, and this is why we’re a safe set of hands.