As you will know from communications this week, the first stage of foundations are soon to be poured for the new Innovation and Inquiry Hub. Many of us have been watching the excavations and ground works with great interest. For a while there it looked as though dirt was being pulled out of the ground and moved to one area, then moved back and put back in the same place! However, something completely different was happening.
Soil testing indicated that the foundations had to be done differently to our initial design and some of the subsoil had to be removed and replaced with less active soil. Then; over 90 pylons were drilled and poured, the plumbing and conduits for all the services to the building were all established, the foundations for the building trenched, the reinforcing steel for the foundations put in place and the formwork established. Finally, we are now in a position for the foundation to be poured.
The months of careful, painstaking groundwork will disappear under a very large slab of concrete, then quite rapidly our fantastic new facility will appear on top of it. The hub will provide opportunities for all of our students to learn in different ways, allowing them to achieve more than they thought possible. There will be terrific new learning spaces and facilities that are among the best in Australia, let alone South Australia… and everyone will forget the foundations.
This week one of our very experienced Maths teachers, Mrs Kennare, asked me if she could take her class onto the building site to show her students Maths in action. Maths has such a significant role to play in supporting the building foundations and the current building work provided a wonderful opportunity to translate classroom learning into reality.
Mrs Kennare wanted the students to see the amount of work that is invested in building the foundations that will ensure success for the whole project. The foundations of the building can be used as a metaphor for our students and their studies. Ensuring that there are really solid foundations takes a lot of work and commitment, from students, teachers and parents alike. We all have to work together to consolidate the foundations, just like the plumbers, riggers, engineers, electricians and architects have to work together to create the foundations for a new building.
Once the foundations are in place, the building on top can proceed rapidly and fulfil the visions and aspirations of all. Similarly, in teaching we strive to ensure the education every student receives at Westminster, then helps them build cognitive, social, emotional and cultural intelligence, providing them with an outstanding foundation to build their lives on in the years beyond school.