The Staged Development Application for our proposed redevelopment of Brigidine College St Ives was approved by an Order of the Land and Environment Court on 29 March 2012. The Order gives in-principle approval for the entire project, and a detailed consent for Stage 1 - a Performing Arts building and 75-car basement car park.
The completion of Stage 1 will provide the College for the first time with a purpose-built drama theatre of 225 seats, allowing the full range of activities within the HSC Drama curriculum, from acting and stage craft through production and back/front of house. For teaching purposes, the Drama department will also have two studio spaces, combinable into a single large space, and suitable also for dance. The size of the theatre will allow for whole Year groups to assemble for pastoral meetings or for presentations.
The theatre will also accommodate smaller musical performances in a more intimate atmosphere and with excellent acoustics. Also for music, the building will include two large classroom spaces, a purpose designed keyboard room for composition, band room, individual practice rooms and instrument storage.
Facilities included in the Stage 1 design will accommodate Music and Drama staff, and when Stage 2 is completed, Science staff also.
Detailed acoustic treatments throughout the building will provide separation between the various activities, as well as shielding the neighbours from the noise of performances and rehearsals. The car park also is designed to be virtually noise-free at the boundary, with access at all times outside the morning peak via a two-way ramp coming off the central roundabout in front of reception. Existing parking spaces along the northern boundary will be replaced with additional landscape plantings.
The Court Order includes some 50 pages of conditions, many involving additional reports and certifications to be provided before a Construction Certificate is issued. As well, a number of modifications to drawings are required to ensure the construction drawings comply in all respects with the conditions. Work has been continuing on this in anticipation of the final decision, and we expect to go to tender in June. Given the recent state of the construction market, we are allowing a full 2 months to complete tender assessments and due diligence, and aim to begin work at the beginning of August.
In the meantime, much preparation will be needed for the management of the ongoing work of the College during the building. Further information will be forthcoming both in Matters and The Bridge, and through specific publications in print and online.
It has been a long time coming, but hope you now share our excitement to be on the verge of the first physical step towards the planned transformation of Brigidine College St Ives for the 21st century.