Building quality spaces for Victorian school children to thrive
Victorian BER Primary Schools Program Melbourne
At a glance
Dept of Education & Early Childhood Development
Local economy stimulus
The Building the Education Revolution (BER) program was the single largest project of the Australian Government’s $42 billion Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan and included approximately 24, 000 projects delivered to Australian communities.
The $16.2 billion BER program aimed to modernise schools through the delivery of infrastructure and, by doing so, support local jobs and stimulate investment.
The BER Primary Schools project saw Multiplex delivering new and upgraded facilities to schools across Sydney and Melbourne. In the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Multiplex provided 22 new buildings to existing schools.
Spaces integrated included halls, libraries, home bases, covered outside learning areas (COLAs), toilet blocks and administration buildings. Upgrades of existing facilities and services were also performed, such as roof replacements, electrical upgrades, alterations and additions to existing buildings.
The projects included design management and liaison with each school Principal to ensure the school's individual objectives were understood and where possible, accommodated.
The Commonwealth Government applied strict criteria to approval of funds so additional focus was required on social inclusion. A direct contractual requirement was for Aboriginal participation and local industry participation to be demonstrated.
Multiplex developed innovative processes, which enabled their schools to be completed within a tight schedule. Particularly those regarding safety provisions and construction, which occurred in fully operational environments that required strict adherence to noise, dust and vibration controls.
Safety and site security was identified as a critical consideration for both the well-being of students and members of the school community, but also for construction workers. Clear delineation of construction works from school areas assisted in maintaining safe working conditions without compromise to the education activities at each of the schools.
Multiplex was able to secure continuous pipelines of supply for structural steel fabrication and galvanising, timber flooring, textile fabric supply, brick and window supply by planning carefully to ensure the smooth operation of construction on the various campuses.
The effect of the global financial crisis on the unemployed was a key social consideration for Multiplex. The BER program injected much needed funds into the local communities where the work was being carried out.
The complexity of the project related to the large number of schools and their wide geographic distribution, along with the extremely tight timetable that was set for the project. Multiplex was the first Managing Contractor to complete, on-time and within-budget – putting in place some much-needed infrastructure to continue nurturing the education of future generations.
Project in numbers
new school buildings