The Officer Secondary School was a joint initiative between the Department of Education and Cardinia Shire Council. The Learning precinct was a green field development, to accommodate a growing need for secondary education schools within the area and now caters for over 1,200 students.
Located 49kms from the CBD in the satellite city of Officer, the completely new school was developed to take the pressure off surrounding schools in the nearby suburbs of Pakenham and Berwick.
The recent popularity of the area has soared with commuting families moving into the area, seeking a safe and quiet community with excellent transport infrastructure offering regular train services to the Melbourne CBD.
The Specialist School, connected to the wider school campus, will educate students with diverse learning needs aged between five to eighteen years. Leading Industry experts, Clarke Hopkins Clarke Architects worked closely with the school community to create spaces which encourage lifelong learning while nurturing student's individual needs.
Most interestingly, the Cardinia Shire Council and the DET saw an opportunity to use the new school to create a learning facility which reflects the learning needs of our present day environments. Experts are realising the more time spent connected to the virtual world through our mobile devices, the more important the need is to create spaces which bring people together in the physical world.
Gallagher Jeffs, Director, Neil Besanko praised the school community and the expert project team who worked so seamlessly together. "Not only has the project team built a school, they have created spaces which encourage students to work together, share ideas and learn from one another. "
The stakeholders put an emphasis on the provision of publically accessed spaces, which will enable wider community engagement from parents, community groups, sporting groups and the creative arts.
The result was truly remarkable. The campus has been split into 6 separate learning communities to support a range of different learning modes. The flexible layout allows teachers to use the spaces fluidly and with ease.
Another unique feature is the community hub centre which sits adjacent to the local community and is used to house the more specific, equipment based subjects such as science and house the central school administrative functions, which is also shared with the local community for a variety of activities.
Gallagher Jeffs is proud to have worked alongside Community and Government to deliver not just another school but a learning environment which encourages wider community participation in positive learning outcomes for the next generation of students.