Stawell Secondary College is a regional school located near the Grampians National Park region of Victoria, approximately 230km north-west of Melbourne. CO.OP Studio were engaged by the VSBA to undertake a second stage of works as part of a regeneration process that began in 2017.
The school campus suffered from previous development iterations, where little thought had been given to the placement of buildings, creating a maze of pathways and facilities that lacked meaningful connections or quality outdoor spaces. The project’s first phase was to create a new administration facility that improved street and community connections, remained sympathetic to the prominent 1900’s school house architecture that holds a prominent place on the site, and also allowed the original school house to return to its initial purpose – for teaching students.
This creation of modern teaching facilities provided an important link between the schools former heritage and their new pedagogical approach. Additional refurbishment works to existing Art, Performing Art, Resource Centre and Technology spaces provided the opportunity to not only upgrade rundown facilities into innovative teaching areas that improve student outcomes, but allowed for the removal of old building stock to open up the campus to create a meaningful campus heart that allowed for school and community gatherings. The overall landscape design was based on the civic notion of the campus heart. A diverse range of formal and informal landscaped spaces created, fostering outdoor learning and improving interconnectivity.