Fairhaven Specialist School

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The challenge:

Fairhaven Specialist School provides education and support to around 80 students with disabilities.  It has classrooms located at various schools throughout the Hawkes Bay region. Principal Jann Carvell was faced with a dilemma when two of the schools classrooms, which are located at Bledisloe School, were deemed to be leaky by the Ministry of Education following its annual safety check.
“With no eaves to allow rain to run away from the building walls, the classrooms were drenched in water leaving 21 students and staff in need of a new home”, she said.
The Ministry of Education stepped in to help find a provider who could supply temporary facilities while the building was pulled down and re-clad in a project due to take approximately six months.

The solution:

The Ministry chose Portacom Building Solutions, who Jann says won over three others due to its cost effective bid.
“Initially I was skeptical - I had been in discussions with other suppliers in Napier who I knew could offer me the secure building and surrounds I required,” she said. “But it didn’t take long for them to win me over. Neil, the company's education specialist, worked closely with me to quickly come up with a design concept that would deliver the safety and space I was after.”
Jann adds, “Neil was extremely obliging and very efficient, he notified neighbours of the planned work and worked well with Bledisloe Schools' sub-contractors so that our new facilities were up and ready to use in just eight weeks.”
Neil Mclean is the education industry specialist at Portacom Building Solutions, and travels throughout the North Island to help the Ministry and schools with their specific needs.
Neil says that the key to this project was communication with the local Napier City Council, as it was its neighbouring playing fields that Portacom Building Solutions needed to use to access the site.
“We were careful to schedule work around sporting activities as well as ensure no disruption to the grounds when bringing in the buildings and materials through the playing fields.”

The result:

Jan says that the new facilities have exceeded her usually high expectations.
“The new buildings certainly meet the schools special learning needs - not only do they give the teachers peace of mind with its secure layout, but the design is light and airy and the covered deck gives the space a serene, calm feel.”
With more space now available, Fairhaven School has plans to enroll several new students.