At the commencement of the planning process, Wyndham Central College was a school in trauma, lacking in student pride and without any sense of community. The school revitalisation program has completely turned these perceptions around. The DET Infrastructure Officer working on the project has described the revitalised College facilities and new-found sense of pride and community as “a miracle”.
It was a priority in the School’s educational vision to completely revitalize and rebrand the school, by distributing the budget across the entire campus, rather than focusing on fewer but more costly buildings. To this end, new cladding materials, sections of render over the old brown bricks and splashes of colour were able to freshen the facades of old 1970’s buildings and brighten the entire campus to maximum effect.
Internally, new clerestory windows were added to flexible learning spaces, in what were once dark low-ceiling corridors. A palette of clean white walls and ceilings with charcoal carpet and splashes of colour was applied across all the buildings. Internal walls which had previously been exposed brown brick were covered with direct-stick plasterboard, instantly giving old buildings the appearance of being new.
Flexibility for Wyndham Central College didn’t mean big, undefined spaces, but a purposeful mixture of spaces that directly supported the new pedagogical practice at the school. The College wished to expand the curricular opportunities for students, particularly in the area of self-expression such as drama, art and music. In order to provide the desired spaces within the tight budget, synergies in the facilities schedule were identified and existing spaces adaptively re-used and expanded. By imaginatively combining space allowances, the whole could be greater than the sum of the parts.