The new Administration Building at Galilee Catholic School at Aldinga received a Commendation in the recent inaugural Learning Environments Australasia SA Regional Awards.
The Building includes reception, staff, parish and community facilities.
Co-Principal Jodie Higgins wrote that
…”The Galilee Catholic School Administration building was an exciting opportunity to enhance the school’s important role within the community.
The design presented both risks and opportunities. The main risk was the potential for interactions between staff, students and parents to be reduced. Staff wondered whether day-to-day learning conversations would flourish in an environment separate from the learning spaces. Conversely, the facility provided an opportunity to bring parish and school communities together, to be a place of welcome and a place where educators, including parents and staff, could learn and the learning conversation would be inspired.
All members of the community provided input into the design, concurrent with the Master Plan review. Consultation at Galilee has focused on ‘listening to the voice’, which is embedded in our learning practice. Russell & Yelland supported this, listening to all stakeholders including student executive, interested parishioners, teaching and administration staff, and the Galilee Community Council, which is representative of staff, parents and the parish.
The success of the building can be seen though the daily interactions that occur:
- Students and parents stop and spend time in the reception area. There is space for conversation, engagement (through knitting a community scarf while waiting, for example) and connection with the parish.
- The community room hosts parents in the mornings, with uniform sales, breakfast and interaction with the school chaplain.
- Staff use the building as an extension of their work spaces. Learning conversations occur and resources are displayed and shared. Meeting rooms support group discussion, and the soft colours and natural light enable reflection.
- Leadership staff are often in discussion in the wide hallway, which provides both confidentiality and openness.”
The Award jury noted:
“The design outcome of the Galilee Administration building has enhanced the presence of Galilee within the community in a most positive way. The Awards Jury commented that the administration building has a great presence from the road which gives the site a sense of success and longevity in the community.
The enhancement of the education facilities also gives the Catholic community a sense of confidence in their school as it moves forward with well-designed school facilities and other community based buildings. The Awards Jury commended the project.”