PROJECTS Whyalla Secondary College

Whyalla Secondary College

Having worked closely with Sturdie on many projects over a number of years, Sarah Constructions – the project’s head contractor invited Sturdie to tender for the design, supply and install of the full electrical, comms and security requirements for this landmark, regional project on the Eyre Peninsula. We were awarded to the contract in May 2020, with work commencing almost immediately.

The project

Spanning five individual but interconnected multi-storey buildings, as well as separate outbuildings and sports’ centre, the new $100-million Whyalla Secondary College sees the amalgamation of three existing high schools into one state-of-the-art learning centre, purpose-built to accommodate 1500 students in years 7-12, commencing 2022. 

The challenges

  • Regional location. Whyalla sits almost 400 kilometres north of Adelaide. Local short-term, furnished accommodation needed to be sourced and secured, as well as finding suitable local tradespeople to help roll-out the project. Distance, availability and access to back-up stock needed to be taken into account when planning for supply, delivery and logistics.
  • Timeframe. Construction commenced in April 2020, with an expected completion date of October 2021, to be ready for its first intake of students in 2022. This gave the entire building team just 17 months to finish construction – and a delay in any area, could set the project back by weeks or months.
  • Mid-COVID. The outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on global, national and local supply chains and skills’ availability required additional and unusually flexible contingencies and planning. 

The approach

In close cooperation with Sarah Constructions, the Sturdie team planned the project with precision from the head office in Adelaide. 

It was important to engage local tradespeople to help boost the local economy and create ownership of the work by the Whyalla community. In addition, Sturdie joined with Sarah Constructions to facilitate on-site work experience for local year-11 and 12 students interested in entering the construction industry, in order to boost skills and opportunity.

The solution

  • Accommodation. Suitable, local accommodation for Adelaide-based personnel was secured in Whyalla for the duration of the project.
  • Local employment. To supplement the Sturdie's own technicians, qualified tradespeople from Whyalla were sourced and vetted. 
  • Integrated planning. Design and pre-engineering were carried out in Adelaide and integrated into the operations plans for delivering and installing all requirements to site.
  • Comprehensive works. Electrical and security needs were met from the outset and through the project lifespan, in line with overall project pace and requirements:
               - Initial designs submitted for timely approval

               - Temporary power set-up and supplied to entire site

               - Underground cabling installed prior to slab installation

               - First-fix wiring completed as structures were erected

               - Security infrastructure installed in tandem with construction

               - Final installations and testing of fittings and fixtures

  • Electrical works

               - Electrical cabling – including 3.5 km of underground and 148 km of electrical cables

               - Internal lighting – including 2,600 light fittings

               - Power distribution – including one main and 23 distribution boards, and 2,800 power outlets

               - Installation and connection of a 50-kW rooftop solar array

               - Street, carpark and pathway lighting controlled through a C-bus smart lighting system.

  • Communications Infrastructure

               - Panduit structured cat 6a cabling system with over 93km of cable

               - Single-mode fibre installation throughout site

  • Security infrastructure

               - Fully-integrated security system including:

                    - Gallagher access and security components consisting of 150 hard wired doors

                    - 150 Salto wireless locks integrated into the Gallagher head end

                    - Milestone video management system with high-definition Panasonic internal and external security cameras

                    - Duress buttons

                    - Sitewide lock-down safety feature

               - School bell integrated into alarm system

The Outcome

The Whyalla Secondary College is set to become a high-tech, flagship education facility that provides for the needs of 1500 students as well as staff and the community. It will enjoy superior functionality thanks to its comprehensive electrical and security infrastructure that was meticulously planned from the outset and tailored for purpose, with the ability to be expanded in the future.

“Sarah Constructions has worked with Sturdie for many years and across many projects. On the $100M Whyalla project, Sturdie managed all of the electrical, comms and security technology requirements. As always, the team at Sturdie brought their professionalism, expertise, reliability and flexibility to the project, and it was great to work with them on this major infrastructure project for the state.”

Anthony Carbone, General Manager, Sarah Constructions