Not your average village school

26 Feb 2010

Inclusivity and diversity at Perth's new suburban college

Atwell College is an innovative and dynamic new school in Perth’s Southern suburbs which is founded on the principles of ‘inclusivity and diversity’ and is the flagship for the delivery of inclusive education throughout Western Australia. This new ‘education village’ brings together some 1800 students including 70 high needs students to share a vibrant educational environment. The village includes the Kim Beazley learning community for high needs students, 6 learning communities (Yr 7 to Yr 12), science, arts, food technology and associated learning spaces, recreation facilities, administration, performing arts and media, a café, library and student services.

Located in the centre of the village, it is the library, the café and student services that form the heart of this learning community. This combination of pavilions is a wonderfully unique and vibrant set of elements which include a flexible and voluminous library space speared by the long café and student services element. The location and configuration of the café relates strongly to the library as well as to the performing arts building which opens out to an outdoor stage.

The project is comprised of 8 buildings and external playing fields on a new large site. Primarily single storey except for one building the primary building materials are ‘tilt up’ (precast) concrete with patterns set into most panels, ‘Vitrapanel’ printed panels, metal cladding, roof and glazing. Structure is primarily steel with concrete used on the two storey building and steel roof systems. All roofs are metal and pods which protrude from some buildings are Alucabond. Paving throughout is concrete with patterns overlapped with proprietary paving ‘paint’ system.Due to tight timeframes the completion was required to be undertaken in two stages in order to open the Kim Beazley and Year 7 Learning Communities for the start of 2008. The rest of the school was opened for the start of the 2009 school year.

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