Project 2018 - Live Blog
17th of October 2017
Since the last update work has continued at great pace on the Project 2018 site. The classroom block to the front of the sports hall is now at first floor height after the concrete columns were poured individually to form the beginning of the frame structure that is an architectural trademark of the Wesley College campus.
These columns are constructed by initially tying vertical reinforced steel to the foundations before the concrete was poured to form the ground floor. Once the steel is ready, formwork is constructed around the steel frame in a rectangular profile and built up to the height of the first floor. The concrete is poured in until it reaches the correct height and left to cure. Often the columns have a service pipe that runs down through them.
When all of the columns were finished, work began on tying these columns together with concrete and steel beams that are a horizontal version of what has been described above. Unlike the columns, the concrete in beams need to be poured in one go.
Preparations have begun on the roof of the sports hall, with safety hoarding around the perimeter being constructed to ensure that the workers are safe and secure while construction takes place on the new roof.
Great progress has taken place on the new link building area of the site and the building is almost complete to ground level. The lift shaft in this area of the site proved to be a tough task due to below ground level works, but it is now complete to ground level and progressing well. All other ground work has gone to plan and the hardcore and radon barriers are in place.
The steel is being tied together at the moment in preparation for the pouring of the concrete. The load bearing concrete wall around the changing areas has also been prepared and is almost ready for pouring.
The rubble from the gym wall has been removed and the open space and light in the gym has been fully realised for the first time. The back stairs is now completely gone!
19th of September 2017
Over the past fortnight, great progress has been made on the Project 2018 construction site. Following the completion of the foundations and rising walls at the site of the new classrooms, an orange radon barrier was installed over the insulation and hardcore. Underneath this barrier are radon sumps that allow the harmful gases to be safely removed from the foundations and dissipated into the atmosphere.
The main purpose of the radon barrier is to prevent radon gas from penetrating through the ground into the building but it also acts a barrier to the passage of moisture rising into the ground floor and walls of the new classrooms. As can be seen in the photograph, steel reinforcement mesh was then laid and tied together over the radon barrier to provide strength to the concrete floors which were to be poured.
The concrete was pumped from a specialised truck that was positioned in the Agricultural Science garden and craned the pipe over the sports hall! As can be seen in the time-lapse video, once the concrete was poured it was all hands on deck as the concrete needed to be poured, spread, vibrated to remove the air bubbles and smoothened over to ensure a level surface for the floor. Once all of this was achieved, the concrete was left to cure and harden. Thankfully the weather ensured that this was a success.
Major work also continued at the rear of the site where the more complex series of rising walls are taking shape at great pace. The reason that this area of the site is slightly more complex is because the changing areas and the plant rooms for servicing the intricate heat and electrical services are mainly located here and it requires provisions at ground and below ground level.
On both areas of the new build, the steel has been erected in preparation for the pouring of the concrete for the columns that have become a real feature of the Wesley College campus buildings. The provisions for the lift shafts can also be seen on site at the moment.
Finally, further deconstruction took place in the gym as the internal wall that divided the weights areas from the rest of the gym was demolished. The mass of concrete and steel came down with the help of a hydraulic jackhammer. Work has also begun on removing the stairs at the rear of the gym. This will ultimately become a PE storage area.
Check back in a couple of weeks for the next Project 2018 update!
4th of September 2017
Not long after the State Examinations finished up in June, Project 2018 began on campus. The removal of the prefabs at Easter ensured that no time was wasted once the last students finished up their exams. As the site would need to be completely sealed, initial works on the site included providing safe and secure access to the buildings. As you can see in the photo, access for builders and construction traffic is from the lower carpark, behind the Technology building, up through the Agricultural Science garden and up to the existing sports buildings.
After the site was secured and the access route completed, the initial work was predominately deconstruction. This involved removing the glazing and completely gutting the gym building and removal of the front entrance hall of the sports hall. As the main fuse board and switches for all of the electrics in the sports hall were in the front entrance, this was a delicate process.
After almost a decade buried under the ground, the swimming pool was once again revealed, albeit briefly until it was, along with the plant room and steps, completely removed to make way for the initial stages of the link building between the sports hall and the gym.
Once the pool was removed the groundwork for the foundations were prepared including excavating, installing plywood form-work to shape the concrete, tying together steel reinforcement to provide extra strength and of course the concrete itself that was poured to provide the builders with a solid foundation to begin the walls of the new building.
Similar work was carried out in front of the sports hall with the rising walls well under way now, and the prefabs a distant memory! The curved front of the classroom block is very obvious from the photograph above, and it will be a very aesthetically pleasing feature of the new building. Check out all of the photos so far from Project 2018 here.
Due to the ongoing construction works and limited parking on campus, significant improvements were made to the front area of the school. The works included the addition of a small roundabout, a new coach set down area, a new car set down area and the widening of the existing road to provide a safer and efficient traffic flow system now and into the future.