Ridgley Primary School, Ridgley

Project Manager
Shane Tuson
Site Supervisor
Matt Davey
Project Gallery
see the photos here

In conjunction with the third round of the Building the Education Revolution, Mead Con Building and Civil Contractors submitted a tender for detailed and comprehensive work scheduled for the Ridgley Primary School with commencement planned for February 2010.

Once nominated as the successful contractor, liaisons could proceed between stakeholders.  Despite delays with surveyors and the building permit, work could not commence until March 2010, one month later than initially contracted. Initial meetings between the Project Manager, Architect and School Principal established the importance of continued and full functionality of the school, with minimal interruptions essential during the construction phase.  Consequently, major works on the Multi Purpose Hall and high traffic student/teacher occupied areas would need to be delayed until the commencement of the school holiday period.  Continually conscious and respectful of the client’s request, all possible attempts were made to comply with this requirement and preliminary tasks began in preparation for the high end major construction phase of the project.

The project would include an extensive redevelopment to the school comprising:

The project experienced numerous challenging weather conditions during the placement of the hall portals, including snow and high wind.  An additional challenge was that it was unknown during the tender period that floor tiles existed beneath the carpeted areas throughout the school.  The tiles and adhesive were tested and found to contain traces of asbestos.  The Mead Con asbestos removal team was deployed to eliminate and dispose of the materials.  During the 2010 Easter period work began on the removal.  Asbestos monitoring became a vital element and took place throughout all stages of the removal and replacement process.
Simultaneously, works began on other areas assigned for upgrades and renovations.  This included areas of the school that were accessible due to the absence of teachers and students. All areas of the school, including Administration, Staff Room, Board Room and classrooms were, to varying degrees, modernized and remodeled.  It was imperative that a high level of communications was maintained between all stakeholders, to ensure that work could progress with minimal disturbance and interruption to the day-to-day activities of the school.

With the construction of the multi purpose hall in progress the present facility could now be converted to the library and consequently, the library became the staff offices and staff recreational area.  The architects commented that “Mead Con did an exceptional job from start to finish, managing all the different complexities within the project”. The administration and reception area features a distinctive curved celery wall encompassing a comfortable foyer.  Individual offices within the administration area have been restructured, allowing for a more efficient and user-friendly working environment. 
Key improvements were made in the staff room, which now boasts a new kitchen with a U shaped bench efficiently utilising materials and space.  The Staff Room, which has individual offices branching from it, provides the perfect communal meeting place for teachers and staff.  The principal states that, “the staffroom is a delight and well received by staff”.

The new Board Room provides a professional environment in which to conduct meetings - received feedback declares that productivity and level of interaction during conference has dramatically increased.

All classrooms received a minimum of new floor coverings, fresh paint and joinery creating an overall feeling of freshness and optimism.

The design of the new multi purpose hall incorporated innovative use of laminated hardwood portals, fabricated by Tasmanian Timber Engineering.  Heat blankets were necessary during the cool winter period to cure glues as the curved section of the portals required controlled temperatures during the fabrication, gluing and joining process.  To create the vaulted rolled section, installation of the portals provided challenges with sequencing, rigging, propping and bracing as the roof structure did not become self supporting until all the elements were in place.  Internal wall lining within the hall consisted of Ply and MDF.  External walls were constructed using a combination of express wall, coloured blocks and zinculume custom orb with aluminium composite panel.  The architect’s sensitive approach to placement of timber together with a floor-to-ceiling cathedral-like wall of windows combine to create an exquisite visual panoply.  The client representative commented that the Multi-Purpose Hall is now a prominent and focal point for the school and the community.  He added that the Ridgley Multi-Purpose Hall is by far, one of the better halls that he has seen during the BER process.

Despite the difficulties encountered our employees maintained their enthusiasm and motivation to produce an awe-inspiring result for the school and its community under the exemplary guidance of Site Supervisor, Matt Davey.  Matt embraced the challenging task of supervising a project that required both renovation and new construction..  The prospect of improving the school and the working environment for both teachers and students alike was something that was immensely important to Matt and he viewed this as a rewarding challenge with nothing but positive outcomes for all concerned.  Matt commented on the outstanding cooperation of the teachers and the students during the whole process. Matt would like to thank all the Mead Con on site team members for continuously striving to produce high quality work and their ability to remain motivated and meet all the challenges and responsibilities associated with the  project.

The multi purpose hall has been embraced by the community and is at present being utilized by several local clubs, with other interested parties enquiring on future availability.  After a period of 37 years with no previous modernization, it is a rewarding, positive and successfull outcome for the Ridgley Primary School and the community.  They now have a place for education, sport and community activity in which to thrive and take pride.

It takes a mammoth effort to make a project such as this a great success.  Mead Con would like to thank their excellent team of employees, the sub contractors, the architect, engineers and our clients.  Effective relations and communications between stakeholders ensured that this project, with its challenges and delays was completed on time and to the highest grade.

The Project Photos