The rather unseasonal wet weather may have dampened the spirits of a few hardy souls during the summer break but it was something of a godsend for our Grounds team as they bedded in a new lawn at the front of the College Reception.
The area had become overgrown with gorse bush planted as quick growing ground cover to ‘settle’ the Administration building into its surroundings when it was first constructed some 10 years ago. The gorse had thickened significantly during the intervening period and became overgrown and unsightly, diminishing the attractiveness of the entrance to the College.
The laying of the new lawn has certainly raised the appearance of the Administration Building and enhanced its street appeal, but it seems also to promote a feeling of calm on approach and a sense of permanence of place.
Junior school parents will also notice the modifications made to the pavement at the ‘stop and drop’ area in front of the Junior School. The pavement has been extended to wrap around the front of the Junior School building nearest to the car park, enabling parents and students to walk safely from the back entrance of the Junior School to the student pickup point, without having to traverse the roadway.
Parents approaching the ‘stop and drop’ zone in their cars, following the modifications, should be conscious of the changed layout and the possible need to alter the angle of their approach.
During the course of 2016, the College installed a new reverse cycle air-conditioning system in the Home Economics building, located at the heart of the campus. And, once the students had completed their practical classes at the end of the year we were able to access the building to complete the final phase of its modernisation, the upgrade of the kitchen in Room 57, which was long overdue.
The refurbishment included the installation of new cupboards and drawers, stainless steel bench tops, sinks, steam ovens, gas hobs, range hoods and flooring. The transformation was enhanced by the remodelling of the room to enhance student workflows.
Students and staff alike will, undoubtedly, enjoy creating new food experiences in the refurbished facility.
Many parents who may have endured the stifling heat of summer while attending past valedictory events or Christmas concerts in the Gymnasium will be pleased to learn that the College has taken the opportunity to retro-fit air conditioning into the Gymnasium.
The installation was carried out by one of our Old Scholars, Tim Kress (‘07), and involved lifting 4 units, each weighing 500kg, onto the Gym roof. (Some of the more observant in the community may have spotted on the Woodcroft skyline the profile of the 90 tonne crane used to raise the units).
As the installation was proceeding, we took advantage of the ability to work at height in the Gymnasium and replaced all 48 of our existing 250 watt globes with 100 watt LEDs which will result in a 60% saving in lighting costs.
We also took delivery of 210 Fujitsu Esprimo desktops and paired them with ViewSonic 27” monitors. Thirty of these were installed in the Junior School computer room and a further thirty in Room 50 on the Middle & Senior School campus. The remainder were rolled out to replace staff machines ensuring that, for the first time, all members of staff have access to exactly the same technology.
And, of course, during this time the routine, cleaning, painting, repair and maintenance of our facilities, across the entire campus, continued apace.
We are grateful for the commitment and dedication demonstrated by our Grounds Team, led by Andrew Bonser, who extend themselves during this period to ensure that our facilities are ready for the students returning for the start of the new school year.