Delivering a state-of-the-art education centre
Victoria’s Centre for Higher Education Studies for gifted students is unparalleled
Project and development services
May 2021 to September 2023
2,700sqm over 4 levels
The Victorian government is delivering building upgrades, as well as new schools and early childhood centres across the state to meet the requirements of the growing population in metropolitan and regional communities.
JLL was engaged by the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) to project manage the design of the Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) in South Yarra, as well as provide superintendency services throughout construction. This involved monitoring construction progress, cost, and compliance, ensuring approvals were adhered to, deadlines met, and liaising between the principal, the school building authority, and the head contractor.
We took on full responsibility for the delivery of this project. This included communicating between the school building authority, the head contractor, design team, quantity surveyor, and school principal to ensure that the design intent would be delivered to expectations.
The design was driven by pedagogical research which promotes natural materials, biophilic principles and sustainability to provide a safe and welcoming environment. The design also incorporated advanced technology facilities including recording studios and interactive digital displays with an ability to record and simulcast across multiple rooms and remotely.
The construction of a café and 275-seat auditorium, multiple flexible learning spaces, technology, engineering, arts and media rooms, collaboration spaces, recording studios, live stream-capable learning environments, and staff and administrative areas, were all under our watch. The design mimics that of a university to prepare high achieving students with an introduction to tertiary education.
The café was designed to be multifunctional to allow students to use the space as well as external organisations for events.
Amid the design and delivery process, one standout complication was that the site contained seven access ways (easements) each owned by adjoining landowners, the local council and other authorities. This meant that we had to engage the owners of each easement in order to gain their consent to build on the site.
Meeting with all stakeholders regularly was crucial for us to ensure misunderstandings were minimised and everyone remained aligned while also building trust and rapport with stakeholders. This allowed the school principal to contribute to the furniture selection process, ensuring tailored furniture was chosen to accommodate each learning space.
The $27.5 million Centre for Higher Education Studies was delivered on time and under budget in a highly collaborative manner. With its high-technology learning spaces and science and design labs offering professional learning opportunities for high-achieving students, there is no other facility like it in Victoria.