FOSTER Primary School’s new building literally flew through the air in sections on the way to its final assembly last week after arriving on a rolling fleet of trucks over three consecutive days.
The first four modules were delivered on Wednesday June 19, 2019, with four more on Thursday and the final four on Friday.
Outside the school, Pioneer Street was lined on either side with the heavily loaded semi-trailers, together with the construction firm’s support vehicles, and traffic controllers on duty.
The building’s modules, varying in weight from about seven tonnes up to the heaviest at 15 tonnes, were lifted from the trucks using a 130-tonne crane and then slowly and steadily swung over the school boundary fence, past a thicket of gum trees and the junior school adventure playground.
Each module was landed in the school grounds and final preparations, such as installing insulation on adjoining internal walls and making sure connecting cleats were properly aligned were completed, before being placed in position.
The modules were set out on foundations of concrete stumps that were built earlier this year.
The external walls of the modules are in a variety of charcoal grey and cream corrugated iron, along with rectangular feature panels in shades of green and blue, a colour scheme suggested by school parent Liana Casson.
School principal Lorraine Gurnett said she and the whole school community were, “very excited that the new junior school building is here at last.
“We’ve all been watching the trucks and the crane at work through the fence and we’re delighted with the progress they’ve made!”
Mrs Gurnett said the components for the $1.7 million building project had been made by Atco in Dandenong.
“The re-build project has been funded by the Victorian Government as part of its asbestos removal program,” she said.
“This new building replaces the four old junior classrooms, the old music room and canteen and the outside toilet block, which were all demolished during first term this year.
“Now we will have one big building, with a multipurpose room, a sound-proofed music room, a canteen with a wide undercover area and louvres for weather protection, four junior classrooms and inside toilet facilities,” Mrs Gurnett said.
“The undercover area will be supported by red poles that look like big pencils set on angles, with plants in red pots to match and with landscaping and outdoor seating.”
The new building will accommodate the school’s 89 junior students, from prep to grade two. There are 131 other students, from grades three to six, at the school, a total of 220.
Mrs Gurnett said the junior grades had been sharing the older students’ classrooms and facilities and the school’s administration building since the demolition of their own area, “and it has been cosy, with every room and every cupboard in use!
“It’s like camping, okay for a while, but it will be great when the new building is finished.
“We’re aiming for occupancy in early August, during the first couple of weeks of third term,” she said.“We’re all going to be very pleased to be in!”