Our new
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Property Update – Week 1

- July 16, 2012

The first of a regular series of updates to ensure families stay informed about construction of our new centre.

The next chapter begins
 

Day 1 – workers deliver the perimiter fencing.
 

Monday July 16 was the day The Infants’ Home handed over our Ashfield site to a project manager and builders for work to start on our new Early Learning and Care Centre.

The work has taken a long time to begin because of the nature of our site – it is old and comes with many inherent issues. But now, after some delays, things are on the move.

What won’t change

For more than 138 years The Infants’ Home has been a place of outstanding education, care and health for young children and their families. 

So in asking families to be patient during this time of change, please know that we will maintain our levels of service in education, care and health.

Lynn Farrell, the Manager of our Learning & Development Centres, has established a committee to identify any issues, keep families informed and reassure everyone about how The Infants’ Home will manage this project.

Involving children

We think The Infants’ Home is about to give rise to a new generation of architects, project managers and builders since the children will watch most of the action first hand.

There’s no holding back a child’s curiosity, so our educators are already working on ways to capture the construction activity in a variety of new learning experiences.

Timeframe for stage 1

We expect to finish this first stage of work by the end of January 2013 and start operations by March 2013.

Perimeter fence

A wire mesh fence will

This entire area will be a no-go zone for everyone at The Infants’ Home.
 

What the children at The Infants' Home are now calling The Big Blue Fence.
 

Initial impacts

The builders need to cut across the backyard of Robinson House to lay stormwater pipes. This work will take about 3–4 weeks. During this time the backyard at Robinson House will be inaccessible.

Also, we need to build an electricity substation behind the Gorton House shed. This means the builders need to take some area away from the Gorton House backyard.

Construction companies

The Infants’ Home has appointed Quasar Constructions as our builder. The firm will have a site manager accessible at all times.

NBRS are the architects.

David Burke from Brewster Murray is the project manager. David will act in our interests and meet Lynn Farrell each week on site.

Parking

Parking will be an issue during construction.

We have asked staff to park in Alt Street or at the opposite end of Henry Street (off Fredrick Street).

We will advise families via newsletters and emails of potential parking issues and try to manage these as efficiently as possible.

Workers construct protective fencing near the Robinson House play area.
 

Current access

Current access to The Infants’ Home will remain as it is for all services apart from the main gravel driveway, which will be inaccessible.

Entry to all areas – Rigby, Robinson, Johnson and Gorton – will remain via the 17 Henry Street gate and the entry gate near Johnson.

Ground rules

How children will be moved

At present, we plan to move children from Gorton House to the new building once it is completed. Work will commence on Gorton House, which is being converted into a medical centre.

Rigby House children will also move to the new building. This will leave a gap in the number of children moving to Robinson House which we will fill from our waiting list.

We will reduce the numbers at Robinson House to 60 per day. This is an area that needs further consideration and careful planning.

The directors of each house will meet with Lynn Farrell. We will inform everyone about these discussions and recommendations.

This will be a standing item on the meeting agenda of the committee Lynn will establish.

The perimeter fencing near Gorton House. The children are asking a lot of questions...
 

Issues of equity

We appreciate that some families might feel their children get no benefit by being at The Infants’ Home during this time of change. When the new building is finished their children will have moved on to school, or elsewhere. These parents might ask: What’s in it for them?

Our answer is that quality education and care is more about dedicated people than shiny new buildings. What won’t change at The Infants’ Home is our commitment to children.

We believe in a society in which each child is given the opportunity to develop the abilities to meet life’s challenges and make the most of its opportunities. New buildings do not change our role. They will just make it a little easier.

Keeping families well informed

We appreciate how important it is for The Infants’ Home to keep parents informed about the progress of this development. Rest assured we will answer your questions; explain what is happening at all times; and put to rest any concerns.

We will use our web site as a main source of information for families. This will include regular updates – perhaps 2 to 3 per month – and a section for frequently asked questions.

The portable site office outside Gorton House.
 

Regular meetings

The Infants’ Home will host a meeting on the last Wednesday of each month on site from 6pm – 7.30pm.

Lynn Farrell will run this meeting and we encourage parents to attend.

More information

If you need to know more about a specific issue, please ask a question and we will give you an answer within 48 hours.

Property Update – Week 4

Property Update – Week 3

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