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To cater for an increasing number of pupils within the School’s catchment area, Indooroopilly State School had to install a number of temporary hire classrooms on their oval, limiting the available play space.

The Department of Education (DoE) engaged Altus Group as Project and Cost Manager to deliver an additional six classroom buildings to address their future space needs. Early in the planning process, it became evident that this was insufficient to meet the School’s short and longer-term requirements and the project brief was amended to significantly increase the size of the building. The project also included a staged master plan to inform future development.

The revised project brief was to provide the following facilities:

  • 12 classrooms, with four additional spaces for future classrooms
  • One practical learning area and two outdoor learning areas
  • A staff room and meeting room
  • Pupil amenities
A pumpjack on the prairie. Alberta, Canada.


Due to the increased size of the facility, the building platform identified in the original brief was too small and an alternative location had to be selected. Due to the need to maintain the limited play space at the School, neither of the ovals offered a viable solution.

After discussions with the School, it was agreed the most suitable location for the building was a steep sloping bank, situated at the rear of the site.

This site, located between two existing classroom buildings, was occupied by an amenities block. To further complicate matters, the only access to this site was via the School’s lower oval, which pupils needed to cross to reach the temporary higher classrooms.


KO & Co Architecture delivered an innovative building design that traversed the sloping site. It comprised two storeys on the middle tier of the School, linking to the adjacent teaching blocks. Two additional storeys were provided below, connecting with the lower oval level. The structural design required careful consideration to deal with the sloping site and included a number of retention walls and anchors to resist the lateral forces.

To allow the School to continue to operate throughout the construction period it was necessary to:

  • Provide temporary toilet accommodation to replace the amenities that were demolished to allow the construction of the building.
  • Construct a fenced construction access road across the oval, complete with automatic crossing gates to allow the pupils to cross safely throughout the build.

An initial delay was caused by unexpected ground conditions, which required a redesign of the substructure. However, once this was overcome, all parties worked tirelessly to finish the project by the revised completion date.

Partway through the project, DoE advised that the additional four future use classrooms would be required, and these were also delivered on program. This work was priced as an option within tender, thus avoiding the need to negotiate a variation.

A late requirement to air-condition the facility was handled quickly and efficiently. Following the handover of the new building, air conditioning was provided within six weeks with minimal disruption.


Overall, the School was delighted with their new building and noted how well the project team communicated throughout the process. The project team delivered a successful outcome within budget.

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