Spiritus Project Story
A career in construction was the topic of an informative lunchtime talk facilitated by our partner in learning, Richard Crookes Constructions. Six inspiring women who are involved in the design and construction of our new building, in various roles including architecture, project management, design, law and engineering, shared their insights and career journeys.
Over 60 aspiring student engineers attended a fascinating lunchtime workshop on the 'super beam' which now spans our new gymnasium space. Led by Northrop Engineers, during the workshop students heard first hand from the structural engineers and architects involved in the project.
The specialists unpacked their approach to solving the real-world problem of reengineering structural support pillars in order to integrate spectator seating into the new space. They stressed how the project objectives were two fold. Firstly, the structural solution had to be fit for purpose from a load bearing perspective. Additionally, the reengineered supporting structure itself had to be built in situ in order to accommodate the practical constraints and complexities of a large construction site.
Students were then challenged to solve an engineering problem in their maths classes afterwards.
As part of our Student Engagement Program, two intrepid Year 5 students donned hard hats and hi-vis vests to tour the Spiritus building as it nears completion - with Freddie the Freedom Frog in tow!
An historic milestone was reached on Friday 29 April 2022 as the 82 metre tower crane, known affectionately in the school community as ‘Lottie’, was dismantled and removed. Two previous attempts to remove the crane were thwarted by inclement weather and the long-overdue Sydney sunshine on the day meant the substantial operation could go ahead.
Mrs Anna Dickinson was delighted to announce the official name for our new building, referred to as the Innovation Centre until now, during a whole school address. “In preparation for the Blessing and Opening coming up later this year, we had asked the Class of 2020 to suggest an official name for our new building, taking into account its purpose within the context of our school, and the significance of the names of the other buildings on our campus.
“The girls understood that the purpose of this new building is to inspire innovative practices in learning and teaching. When they were brainstorming ideas, the Class of 2020 kept reinforcing that we describe our school as ‘a school of spirit’. We are a school that is inspired to achieve above and beyond in everything we do – in our faith life, in our extra-curricular life and in our academic pursuits.
“Therefore, we have arrived at the Latin word for spirit, SPIRITUS. Spiritus means ‘the breath of life’ and it is also used to denote the Holy Spirit, Spiritus Sanctus, who inspires us to go out into the world and make a positive difference, which is the purpose of a Loreto education.
“We look forward to our Blessing and Opening of the new building where we can meet in person and celebrate Spiritus together.”
Our Student Executive toured the Innovation Centre site, including the new glass stairwell, gymnasium, TAS rooms, the multipurpose, flexible learning environments and the outdoor spaces and play areas. The students were interested to hear about the building’s many sustainable and energy-efficient design features, such as the integrated solar-protected glazing and mechanically-assisted natural ventilation.
With the major structural works completed, crews have been continuing with the internal fit-out and completion of the building's façade. The glazing of the glass stairway and installation of walkway balustrades is completed. In the next month, the fit-out and services will be completed, and work will continue on the landscaping and paving.
During December and into January 2022, work will continue on the internal fit-out and the façade of the building. In addition, the glazing of the glass stairway and installing balustrades for the walkways will be completed. We are also planning for ‘Lottie’ the crane to be removed early in the New Year, which is a major milestone in the progression of our new building.
As we meet the challenges of the build within the current COVID-19 restrictions, construction is progressing at pace including the installation of the curved stairway and the completion of the structure for the gym extension. Internal fit-outs continue, along with work on the façade, and the coming weeks will see the removal of the scaffolding next to the main building.
Structural works to interlink walkways and the gym extension continued. Fit-out works on all levels have commenced and work on the brick façade is underway. All construction continues in accordance with NSW Health Orders.
Top row pictured from left to right: Facade installation, Structural steel installation, LG3 internal glazing
Bottom row pictured from left to right: Gym extension formwork to LG2, LG2 internal glazed partitions, LG1 services rough in
Following the NSW Premier’s announcement on Saturday 17 July 2021 to stop construction work to limit the spread of COVID-19, Richard Crookes Constructions ceased work on the Innovation Centre for a period of two weeks. Construction resumed on Monday 2 August 2021 with safety measures in place as per the NSW Health Orders.
Following the shutdown, work to fit out the Lower Ground Level 1 and below continued and work also commenced on the building facade on Level 1.
The main building structure reached its highest point at the rooftop earlier this month and the new building was connected to the Ausgrid electrical network.
The slab for the gym extension on the Ground Floor was finished and support structures to enable the next phase of its build were put in place. Structural work on the interlinking walkway on Lower Ground Level 1 was also completed. Internal fit-outs continued on Lower Ground Levels 1 and 2, the Ground Floor and Level 1.
A new project milestone was reached this month as above-ground construction commenced. The Ground Floor slab and the Level 1 suspended slab were both poured and fit-out activities continued to move ahead on Lower Ground Level 3. Around the Junior School, demolition in the areas near the walkways and the Marian Centre were completed and excavation in the external area continued.
This month signaled the beginning of our Student Engagement Program aimed at ensuring the girls develop an understanding of the Innovation Centre during its construction to maximise the learning opportunity that the project provides.
In the first phase of the Program, representatives from three Year 6 classes participated in a tour of the construction site and two separate tours were conducted for Year 3 students as part of their unit of work on change in their local community. The visits extended the girls’ study into the similarities and differences across our Kirribilli campus from the past, present and future.
The Program will also provide Senior School students with further opportunities for site visits later in Term 2, as well as the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops that will run throughout Terms 3 and 4.
Construction works began near the Junior School once overhead protection was in place. All of the Lower Ground level structural works were completed and work commenced on the internal fit-out in these Lower Ground levels. Scaffold was erected to Ground Floor height and preparation for the slab on this level was undertaken. Works to install the new electrical substation were also completed.
The next phase in the project will involve fit-out and finishing works to the Lower Ground levels and concrete pours to the Ground Floor and gym extension slabs.
A significant milestone in the realisation of the Innovation Centre was reached as we commenced the connection of our new building with the Junior School.
For the safety of our students, staff and visitors, hoarding and overhead protection were installed in designated areas of our Junior School campus and several protective measures will remain in place for the duration of the project.
A group of Year 12 students were eager to hear about the new learning opportunities available to them as a result of the Innovation Centre build, including the chance to learn about a career in the construction industry under the guidance of the project team currently on site.
Equipped with hi-vis vests and hard hats, the students were introduced to the team of builders, engineers and project managers involved in the construction of the new building and saw the Centre taking shape first hand. They also learned about the construction process and the unique features of this state-of-the-art facility.
The students were grateful for the invaluable opportunity to visit the site in person and are looking forward to their continued involvement in the project going forward.
Richard Crookes Constructions utilised the Christmas period to complete the detailed excavation work and construct and install the steel reinforcement cages which form the foundations of the Innovation Centre. Tonnes of reinforcement was installed and the Lower Ground 4 slab was poured on 21 January 2021.
The vertical walls, columns to Lower Ground 3, suspended slab formwork and reinforcement works were also completed in preparation for the Lower Ground 3 concrete pour.
In addition to the pouring of concrete, the old gym extension was demolished and demolition work under Centenary Hall was undertaken in preparation for the installation of new changing rooms and toilets.
Thursday 3 December 2020 saw the arrival of an 82 metre crane on the Innovation Centre construction site. The crane, which has a 55 metre arm, is required to transfer materials and equipment onto the Loreto Kirribilli site and will be utilised for the duration of the build. This significant piece of construction equipment created a great deal of excitement in Loreto Kirribilli Junior School with students invited to take part in a ‘Name the Crane’ competition. More than 250 entries were received and ‘Lottie’, put forward by Year 6 student Lucy, was selected as the winner following a vote by students and staff.
“I chose Lottie as the Bob the Builder Crane is called Lofty. In the interest of empowering women, I did the female version of Lofty which is Lottie,” explained Lucy.
Thursday 12 November 2020 saw the commencement of the construction phase of the Innovation Centre. This significant project milestone was marked by a Cutting of the First Sod Ceremony, held to signal the start of the build. Principal Mrs Anna Dickinson proudly broke ground watched on by key members of the Loreto Kirribilli community, project team Bloompark Consulting and building partner Richard Crookes Constructions.
We are very excited to announce the appointment ofRichard Crookes Constructions as the construction contractor for the building of the Loreto Kirribilli Innovation Centre.
The construction of this significant building incorporates a range of dynamic, versatile learning spaces and studios. Our new Innovation Centre will also provide important connections to, and expand the use of, the Marian Centre, Centenary Hall and Gymnasium.
We are currently working closely with Richard Crookes Constructions to develop the staging plan for this significant project milestone which will see the building of our Innovation Centre through to completion. The building phase will commence after the HSC examinations in mid-November with further details about specific timeframes, activities and arrangements for the later part of 2020 and 2021 forwarded in due course.
Bulk excavation has recently been completed with a subsequent decision to postpone detailed excavation activities. These activities were originally planned to continue until mid-May 2020. As a result of this decision, the large equipment and workers have been demobilised from the site with the construction area left in a safe state until works recommence.
Further information will be provided prior to the recommencement of the detailed excavation and construction phase with timeframes continuing to be reviewed in alignment with the evolving COVID-19 situation. At this stage, we anticipate that works will remain on hold for three months and we will inform our community of any changes to this proposed timeframe. Further information will also be provided prior to the recommencement of any significant works, outlining the nature and duration of activities to be undertaken.
The COVID-19 situation continues to unfold creating ongoing changes and challenges for our families, community, businesses and the broader economy. Given the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19, the Loreto Kirribilli Board has decided to postpone the construction phase of the Innovation Centre.
Both bulk excavation and the ensuing detailed excavation activities are currently forecast for completion in mid-May 2020, dependent on weather conditions. At the conclusion of these activities the project will be postponed. Timeframes for the commencement of the construction phase will continue to be reviewed in alignment with the evolving COVID-19 situation.
A significant milestone in the excavation works was reached with a blessing ceremony held on site on 14 February, signifying the preparation for the next stage of the project.
The ceremony was led by Sr Yvonne Lamerand ibvm and attended by Principal, Mrs Anna Dickinson, Deputy Principal, Mr Daniel Mahon, other senior members of staff and the Student Executive.
The bulk excavation works commenced in late 2019 and continued over the Christmas holidays. During the last weeks of the bulk excavation, we will be finalising preparations for the start of construction. We are looking forward to starting the next phase of our project and will formally announce the successful head contractor shortly.
During 2019 an early works package was undertaken in preparation for the start of excavation and construction.
In May 2019 temporary classrooms were installed onsite to provide additional learning spaces, and in the July school holidays the B-Block building, which will be the site of the Innovation Centre, was demolished.
A dedicated project team is available to answer questions about the Innovation Centre project via: