Balmoral School Redevelopment


Newsletter Update: Friday 7th September, 2018

Relocatables by Room 30:

We have been told by the builder that they expect to have the stairs and paths finished by the end of this term ready for occupation next term. The builder noted that they have experienced incredibly wet ground conditions and this has caused a number of delays.


This week Liz and I met with the project manager to identify a proposed playground layout to replace the Year 3, 4, 5 & 6 playground outside Room 29 & 30. We hope this will be installed by the end of the year.

New School Buildings:

We are currently in discussion with the project team about the remodel of Block 11 (Rooms 20, 21 & 22) and whether it is possible for the school to add additional areas to the remodel.


We have also had a discussion with a landscape architect and the design team to ensure that we have an outdoor environment that can be used as another classroom. We want to maximise the indoor outdoor flow and ensure that there are spaces for learning and presenting work near the classrooms.


The BoT are waiting for Frank Cleary from Babbage Architects to complete an independent review of the Gymnasium. Frank is looking at all aspects of the design to ensure it is fit for purpose and cost effective.

Contract Signing:

The BoT have applied for permission from the MoE to be allowed to contribute school funds to the gymnasium. The BoT have also obtained independent legal advice to ensure that the Board and the school have sufficient contractual protection during the build. We hope to sign this agreement in the next week

Designs: The project team are furiously preparing detailed drawings for the tender process. We believe the team at RTA have been involved in some long days completing these. Tender documents are expected to be ready by the due date.

We do acknowledge that the build process has been incredibly long and laborious, but we are sure that once we finish the build we will have facilities for our pupils and staff that are
second to none.


Newsletter Update: Friday 24th August, 2018

The relocatables on the field by Room 30 are nearing completion. The contractors hope to have this finished by 17 September. These rooms will then be ready for occupying.

Detail design drawing are currently underway in order to be issued for tender in September. The tender process should take about five weeks.


Newsletter Update: Friday 10th August, 2018

The last four relocatable classrooms have been placed onto piles near the Eldon Road gate. Two of these rooms will be occupied by Central Auckland Special School. The other two classrooms will be used by classes during our rebuild. We now have all the temporary accommodation on site to accommodate children throughout the build.

The Board of Trustees are currently working towards signing a contract with the MoE regarding the use of the gymnasium during the build, the contractual cost that the school will contribute and the amount of financial risk that they expect to hold and the build quality standard they expect to be delivered.

The architects are currently working on the detailed plans for the full build.

Recently Room 26 (a class of Year 7s) have moved down to Shire 8 for the remainder of the year. I appreciate them moving during the year as this is not an easy feat. Room 26 will be used to teach our New Entrants who have just started school.

As we enter the construction phase moving classrooms will be something that we all will have to live with.


Newsletter Update: Friday 27th July, 2018

The two final temporary classrooms which will be used during the rebuild will be brought onto the school site this Friday and Saturday. This means that the Eldon Road gate will not be accessible to anyone from Friday at 9.30am. All children will leave via the Brixton Road gates on Friday afternoon.

The Eldon Road gate will be open again for our community on Monday morning.

As we enter our building development phase we will communicate gate closures through our newsletter and by email. Please ensure that your details are up to date if you wish to receive these.


Newsletter Update: Friday 29th June, 2018

Major build: 

Detailed design is underway, and the Ministry are working towards a tender date in September. Liz and I have been going through the detailed plans ensuring that we
minimise any variations to the original scope of the gym as this will be funded by the Board of Trustees. We have also been reviewing the detailed plans for the classrooms. Currently we are looking at what contribution the BoT can make to ensure that we have
a building that enables learning to happen outside the classroom too.
Current indication is that the build will commence in Q1 of 2019.

Relocatable Classes:

The contractors have been pile driving over the last two weeks. We have been told that the piles have been driven in crooked due to rubble below two meters. The contractor now has to design a concrete strip for the buildings to sit on. We are waiting for a new completion date.


Newsletter Update: Friday 15th June, 2018

Major Build:

The BoT and the Senior Leadership are working alongside the MoE reviewing the detailed design. Value engineering (VE) has been completed to come within budget constraints. The Board has reviewed the detail of the VE exercise and feel that a balance has been maintained between quality of build & budget constraint.
Detailed design is underway, and the Ministry are working towards a tender date later in the year.
Current indication is that the build will commence in Q1 of 2019.

Relocatable Classes:

The contractors are currently mapping the location of an underground gas pipe. The location of this pipe needs to be drawn up for engineer, so piles can be driven. Once piles are driven we will then be in a position to know delivery of these classes. This is weather dependant, but we hope the piles in place by 22 June. The Eldon Road Gate will need to be shut on the morning of delivery.


Newsletter Update: Friday 1st June, 2018

Recently the school staff have been reviewing the design of the gym and looking carefully at the costings. The Board and staff are wanting to ensure that we are getting value for money and risk of variation is minimised once building starts. Recently the Board engaged Frank Cleary from Babbage Architects to complete a design review of the gym. Frank has raised some points with the Ministry’s project team.

Over the next two weeks staff will be meeting with the MoE and their agents to discuss a Design Review Panel Report and its implications for the build. We have an indication from the Ministry that the most recent cost estimate exceeds budget, this will result in value engineering. We are unclear of the quantum of the issue and what this will mean to the design, however the Board has anticipated this and are ready to protect design objectives from being eroded by the Ministry.

The last programme from the Ministry has showed tendering from September 2018 and construction commencing Q1 2019.

At the end of last week, the builders discovered an issue underneath the proposed Satellite Unit relocatables at the Eldon Road entrance. There is a storm water line which runs underneath the proposed location of the relocs as well as a gas line which runs perpendicular to them. Unfortunately, when the gas line was installed some time ago, it was thrust through the storm water line. This does need to be remediated and as such the classroom is unable to be installed where originally proposed. We are working through this issue with the MoE.


Newsletter update: Friday 4th May, 2018

During the break the school has had some minor work completed. The MoE have organised builders to put plywood on the base of The Shires and handrails down our main steps to the field.

We have not yet heard about how the Design Review Panel has gone with the major school rebuild.

The Ministry of Education has also informed the school that Portacom plan to commence works on site on Monday 20th May 2018. This will be on two more relocatables by Room 30 near the Eldon Road Gate. The works are schedule to take 12 weeks to complete.


Newsletter Update: Friday 12th April, 2018

On Tuesday 10th April the Ministry of Education, RTA Architects and the project managers met with the Board of Trustees. At this meeting, the Board was presented the design drawings that will be submitted to a Ministry appointed Design Review Panel (DRP) on 24th April.

The discussion centred upon a small number of questions the Board had about the development, but in general parties have agreed in principle to the development of distinct primary and intermediate blocks.

We now have to wait for DRP process and the revised estimate from the Quantity Surveyors to determine if the design will progress unchanged or with amendments.


Newsletter Update: Friday 16th March, 2018

Over the last two weeks the Senior Leadership have visited four Christchurch Schools and been involved in numerous meetings regarding the development of our school. We have discussed colours of the internal and external layout. Other considerations have been the type of roller doors used in the shared spaces and door hardware. We have also been discussing landscaping directly outside the classrooms. We see these areas as another classroom so getting this part right is essential.

The MoE will present the completed plans to the BoT on Tuesday 10 April. From here the plans go to a Design Review Panel (DRP). At this stage we will be able to share the building design with you.

The two prefabs have finally been installed on piles near Room 30 by the Eldon Road Gate. Two further classrooms are expected to be established parallel to these rooms closer to the driveway.

The BoT will need to contribute locally raised funds to this project. Locally raised funds include school donations, PTA gifts, grants from trusts and any other money we raise through our small trading activities.

Interestingly this week I found something from our archives that said in October 1926 Balmoral (NZ Herald, 19 February 1926, p.10) held a Queen Carnival to raise money to improve the grounds. Our community raised 460 pounds for the school as the grounds were in such a sorry state and there was insufficient money from the Education Board. Not a lot has changed in 90 years.


Newsletter Update: Friday 2nd March, 2018

Enabling works:

We were pleased that the fences were taken down on the field last week and pupils now have access to the field behind the Shires. The weather certainly played havoc with grass growth.

We have asked the MoE for a programme of works on the installation of the four new relocatables near the primary playground and are still waiting for clarification on this. It should be a short duration piece of work lasting only a few months.

Main redevelopment works:

Staff have been involved in looking at the colours for the new classrooms. The initial design of the building is complete, and it has followed MoE guidelines for natural light, ventilation and area. These new classrooms also have to be Modern Learning Environments or so-called open plan.

The Ministry maintains a set of design guidance documents that establish design principles for working on school property, and these guidelines help to ensure that new buildings and infrastructure align with key design objectives such as flexibility, durability and cost-effectiveness as well as responding to environmental factors such as prevailing winds, sunlight, and ground conditions.

The design will go to a design review panel in April. This is a group of independent specialists engaged by the Ministry of Education who check the building complies with the code and MoE guidelines. After this, detailed design and tender processes will continue until the end of 2018, with target award to a contractor in December 2018.

The redevelopments work will be staged so that the school can continue to operate unhindered during construction. The building of the Gym / Intermediate school / Primary school and Central Auckland Special School (CASS) Unit are for this reason to a large extent sequential. Duration is estimated to be 3 years (ie all of 2019, 2020 and 2021).

It is important to the Board that the community is aware of the Ministry’s intended duration, so that expectation can be managed. For many involved that have been working on this for many years now, our children like yours will have left the school before the rewards can be enjoyed. More positively expressed, it will be a tremendous legacy for those that follow.


Ministry of Education Newsletter: Thursday 24th August, 2017

See below for the latest newsletter from the Ministry of Education regarding the Balmoral redevelopment.

Balmoral School MoE Fact Sheet


Community Meeting: Tuesday 27th June, 2017

The design of the new classrooms has been progressing well since the Minister approved the additional funds last term. Below are the latest plans as at the end of June 2017.

These plans now have to go before a design review panel and costed by a quantity surveyor. There may be changes if both these reviews identify design problems or cost implications. More detailed drawings of actual layout will then be developed.

Balmoral School Design Plans June 2017


Community Meeting: Monday 13th March, 2017

The Ministry of Education has presented the Board with a concept plan for the School Building Redevelopment that they would like to proceed with. On Monday 13th March 2017 the School Board of Trustees held a community meeting to give everyone an opportunity to come along and hear about the progress they have been making with our rebuild options, see the concept plans and discuss their thoughts with the Board Members.

It was heartening to see so many parents present at the BoT Property Information Meeting on Monday night. It was also fortunate the Minister Nikki Kaye sent a letter to the school at 2.30pm on that same Monday indicating that she would increase the funding for the rebuild by $5.6 million.

The Board believes that this increase gives us a greater chance of being able to develop classrooms that can appropriately meet the needs of our community into the future.

The presentation given at the meeting – not including the last minute information from Minister Nikki Kaye – can be viewed below.

Property Building Public Meeting March 2017