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Knox Grammar Academy of Global Competency

6 April 2021

How Knox Grammar School created their innovative Middle Academy of Global Competency in 17 weeks

Transforming an existing two-storey building into a whole new learning centre with an innovative design might seem to be a project that would be a couple of years in the planning and construction, but Rohrig and Tom Mark Henry helped Knox Grammar School Design and Construct with 18 weeks of planning and 17 weeks construction.

Rohrig engaged Tom Mark Henry to develop a design to meet the desire for something innovative, inspirational and flexible. Previously delivering forward-thinking office spaces and hospitality projects, this opportunity was a new and welcome challenge within the education sector for them. The brief was to give the Year 9 and 10 students their own very distinctive space – not a typical classroom – that would enhance learning and engagement with the teacher. With Rohrig’s schools experience and Tom Mark Henry’s design creativity, it was a productive collaboration that gave the Knox space new possibilities. Rohrig’s Design Manager, Shane Stoddart, said Tom Mark Henry was a good fit for innovation and our team quickly grasped the opportunities and contributed valuable design ideas.

Rohrig and Tom Mark Henry understood that all design components and furnishings had to be bullet-proof against the tough knocks of daily student activity. Meetings that brought together the perspectives of teachers, designers and construction crew helped ensure that the outcome was practical as well as progressive.

The design for a large open stairway saw Rohrig create a life-size mock-up. This reality-testing of vital components gave everyone peace of mind and ensured everything could progress smoothly without time-consuming and costly late changes. Stakeholders could give feedback and assess variations before the project was built.

With the opportunity to walk through it, feel it and test it, the school knew the final result would be a robust and workable option.

Tom Mark Henry appreciated that Rohrig valued design and worked with us in a friendly and focused way, creating a great sense of camaraderie and teamwork amongst everyone involved. We were all focused on the same goal.

The relationship of trust between Rohrig and Tom Mark Henry meant we saved time by doing cost-management alongside the design. Early works were able to commence while still finalising design.

With decades of experience in construction for schools, the Rohrig team was always on the front foot looking for solutions to any potential challenges. Tom Mark Henry focused on producing the highest quality design and results possible, whilst always keeping the school and students at the centre of the design. With a clear focus and strong collaborative approach, the team delivered the project both under budget and ahead of schedule.

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