Prized college has contemporary flavour

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Officer Secondary College has won an award for its architectural design at the Association for Learning Environments’ (A4LE) Australasian Regional awards.

The building took out the Best New Construction of an Entire New School category at the A4LE awards ceremony on 31 May at the Melbourne Town Hall, topping a dozen other new educational facilities across the country.

The Officer Education Hub was designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke (CHC) in collaboration with the college, Cardinia Shire and Places Victoria as a “core community-building foundation” for the rapidly developing suburb.

The judging panel commented that its design offered “differentiated learning spaces” across a double-storey layout to encourage more collaboration between students and team teaching among staff.

“Officer Secondary College provides contemporary learning spaces that support the college’s personalised pedagogical approach, generate strong community connections and shape a vibrant, truly community-integrated learning environment,” ClarkeHopkinsClarke partner Wayne Stephens said.

“It’s CHC’s view that school communities can give new suburbs an anchor, connecting residents and providing the first threads of a strong social fabric.”

The two general learning buildings in the secondary school are separated into six ‘learning communities’.

Each learning community includes a range of spaces to support different modes of learning, including large collaborative spaces that can accommodate up to 50 students together with informal, social and creative learning areas.

“The model lets us better respond to the needs of the students day-by-day, enabling us to strategically place staff or students in the areas that will best suit their learning,” Officer Secondary College principal Michaela Cole said.

The A4LE acknowledges projects that demonstrate effectiveness in the planning, design and construction of educational facilities.

Other categories include New Construction of a Major Facility, Renovations/Modernisations Over $2M, Renovations/Modernisations Under $2M, Educational Innovation and Outdoor Learning Area.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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