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Arts & English Blocks, Hutt International Boys School

Hawkins worked on the development of a new Arts Block, followed by an new English block, at Hutt International Boys School

As part of Hutt International Boys School's wider objective to provide students with an updated and modernised campus, Hawkins was contracted to develop the Arts and English Blocks in mid-2016.

The delivery of the project was staged with completion of the Arts Block before the English Block, to ensure adequate learning spaces were available for the students.

Work began on the Arts Block, a 700m2 new build that incorporated the art studios, darkroom, film room, classrooms and storage areas. The exterior cladding comprises vertical shiplap cedar and linear weatherboards which flow through into the interior. Interior walls are covered in pin-able autex linings to display artwork along with bespoke joinery. Two new HVAC units were installed on a purpose-built mezzanine floor that hangs from the steel structure. These units were encased with acoustic walls and are fully concealed.

A full refurbishment then began on the 1100m2 English Block, which comprises a library, classrooms, resource rooms and storage areas. The new exterior cladding to the extension was ExoTec sheet cladding. New exterior aluminium windows and doors were put in, along with two new access stairs. The interior was fully gutted and wall framing realigned. Like the Arts Block, the interior walls were covered in pin-able autex linings for acoustics with bespoke joinery.

The main joinery was designed to conceal the HVAC systems in each classroom. Co-ordination and collaboration between the HVAC and joinery contractors was essential to make these units work. Throughout this stage there were a number of existing structure and general conditions of the building which required remediation that was outside the contract works. This resulted in significant additional works, which the site team completed during the construction.

Working in a live school environment while students were on campus meant careful planning to manage safety, noise and the movement of construction equipment as well as the students themselves was essential. All upcoming works were clearly communicated to school management, staff and students.

The Hawkins team also conducted daily pre-start meetings with sub-contractors to communicate upcoming works and resolve potential issues early. Weekly site meetings took place to analyse site issues and to produce three-weekly look-ahead programmes, to highlight anything that could cause disruption to the school, as well as potential health and safety issues. These programmes were then presented to the school on a weekly basis and passed on to our subcontractors.

Due to a tight programme, the team arranged an open forum with the subcontractors by implementing the Last Planner methodology while using the Construction Programme as the guide. This methodology ensured a collaborative culture and enabled the team to manage programme risk on a daily basis. 

The team was able to successfully complete the project and the new classroom blocks were handed over to a very happy client.