The physical site of a school provides the school community with a sense of place, where the school community forms around your children, our students. We gather to see children grow, develop and thrive, essentially to learn. The physical site, buildings and facilities are a significant influence on our sense of The Knox School, our sense of our place!
At the Community Consultation this week a draft Master Plan for the school site was introduced. This draft plan has been influenced by staff and parents as they have contributed their views. This material has then been analysed in a number of workshops with architects, discussing what is unique about our site, and how can we best enhance the day-to-day experiences of students and teachers, through the built environment.
The consultative draft Master Plan is ambitious and visionary. The Master Plan will drive both cost effective renewal of current buildings and facilities and significant future developments to enhance our excellent site on Burwood Highway.
A positive start has been made to the redevelopment of our site. Over the last eighteen months:
• Eight class rooms have been built or refurbished.
• The foyer spaces of the Year 7 Centre have been completely refurbished and extended.
• The main oval has been reengineered with new drainage, levelled and replanted.
• Middle School and Senior College foyers have new furniture, as pilot schemes in the redevelopment of a learning commons in each of these sub-schools.
• Additional staff offices, housing fifteen percent of the teaching staff, have been developed, bringing staff closer to students, enhancing staff/student connection and interaction.
• The main Reception foyer space has new furniture to pilot a more welcoming, more home living room style.
The use of these small and significant improvements will guide future thinking, planning and development.
Some of the highlights of future development shown in the draft Plan include:
• New Early Learning Centre (ELC) with a shared underground car park, easily accessed from Burwood Highway.
• New Infants School class rooms (Prep and Years 1 & 2), sharing the ELC car park.
• New Junior School Library and Junior School Reception.
• New artificial turf playing surface.
• New technology facilities.
• New canteen.
• New “link” building, joining the Middle School, Senior College and Founders Buildings.
• New Coffee Shop for parents, staff and senior students.
• Redesigned and revitalised Main Quadrangle area, a “village piazza”.
• A place for quiet reflection and meditation.
• Refurbishment of each of the current buildings.
• New Administration building and further underground parking.
• Maintain two open spaces as potential sites for future development beyond this Master Plan.
Many of the current school facilities were state of the art at the time of their construction. We will adapt and reconfigure them to the needs of current and future students and build new facilities that are “future-proofed”. The development of new Junior School and administration facilities opens up significant possibilities for the redevelopment of spaces for older students, especially in the Information Commons building.
Our draft Master Plan reflects our belief in the future possibilities for each student of The Knox School. Spaces for relational connection, class rooms supporting expert teaching, spaces allowing for individual and group challenge and provocation.
Our facilities will support purposeful learning, positioning students for a future where they thrive in a complex and changing world and where they know and understand real and very strong family and community bonds based on their time at The Knox School.