ACA - SA November Update

John Held , 14 November 2017

There is a real opportunity to work on the new 'design-led' schools program in South Australia. John Held explains – and how ACA can help. And send us your feedback on STEM projects.

Building Better Schools

The SA Government’s recently announced $690m school building program is welcome news for architects – DECD  are talking about how they have enjoyed design-led projects and we hope that this program can avoid some of the difficulties of the STEM program.

On Monday 6 November representatives of the ACA and Institute met with DECD to discuss their Building Better Schools program, which involves the investment of $690m across 90 schools over four years.

Ross Treadwell, DECD Executive Director of Infrastructure, noted the priorities of the program would include a range of opportunities for schools to improved their facilities by creating better spaces for teaching and learning; upgrading their site appearance, especially at entries, and site improvements such as the removal of transportables and any remaining asbestos on sites. He has described the projects as design-led and we believe there is a real opportunity to work with DECD to achieve outstanding results, and it was heartening that the design industry was invited to attend a discussion last week on procurement convened by the Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Education. It was noted that DECD will be managing the program internally through a new Building Authority, based within the Department, and will discuss procurement issues with us and other stakeholders as the program is rolled out.

Initially DECD will be seeking a planning study and the scope will be based on the Learning Environment Opportunities Study (LEOS) proforma developed by ACA, DECD and DPTI over the last year.  The intention is to define high level scope and to identify priorities for each site pending a more detailed concept design phase in early 2018.  An artist impression of a key priority for each site will be part of the initial phase of the projects.

Learning Environment Opportunity Studies

Last year ACA and DECD devised a format for school planning called the Learning Environment Opportunity Study.  The structure of the study was designed to get schools to look at their own learning environments and come up with strategies to improve them – ranging from small, student-led projects to large redevelopments. 

The first stage of the Building Better Schools program will use a modified version of the LEOS study as its structure for the first phase.

We thought it would therefore be useful to hear from architects who have completed LEOS studies about the process. We are therefore organising a Roundtable in association with the Institute  next Thursday 23 Nov at 4.30pm at the new Institute offices (see here for more information).

STEM Works

We are keen  to keep hearing feedback on the STEM projects.  Just in the last few weeks we have heard instances where, on novation, builders have presented a completely new contract to the architect for signing.

Novation relies on the retention of the original AS4122 contract with the Architect being novated from the government to the Builder, not the production of a new contract between Builder and Architect. If you have any concerns please speak to your Project Manager at DPTI.

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