Business South Dec / Jan 2022

82 | BUILDING Bushnell Builders A new era for Springfield School Kelly Deeks Christchurch’s Bushnell Builders is proud to be part of the project team delivering an iconic new building with a high level of significance for the future of the small Canterbury farming community of Springfield. As Springfield School was looking forward to its 150th anniversary in 2021, its historic and picturesque buildings were starting to show their age. “This new school building brings the ability to have the modern and innovative learning environment of three big, open classrooms,”says Bushnell Builders project manager Brad Austin . “It also brings a monumental building with contemporary architectural features, like woven steel screens, that are going to tie in with the existing the heritage building on site, and with the rough, tough, farming environment at the foot of the Southern Alps.” The school’s existing swimming pool and one office building would remain, and be joined by three flexible learning spaces, administration, resource, and staff areas. “We are working within a management group comprising PXA Architects, SSL Consulting, and the school principal Keri Steele,” Brad says . “The school has continued to run on site during the rebuild process, and has also been actively involved in the redevelopment of the site, working on landscaping and tree removals. “Everyone is working together to make sure the end result is what the community wants.” SSL Consulting project manager Yvone Cateno says that the build has run smoothly due to the willingness of each team member in the property control group to collaborate and ensure the best outcome for the school. Work began on site in March with the relocation of the office building and demolition of the old block, and a sizable rerouting phase which saw power supply changed from overhead to in-ground. This was a huge undertaking with multiple companies being managed by Bushnell Builders at one time. “The main challenge throughout this project has been trying to remain on top of the construction programme, with our team having to battle through the canterbury floods, Covid and material lead time pressures,” says Brad. “We are still on track for completion by Christmas which is really appreciated by all involved.“ A large commercial project for a small, 40-student school, a state-of-the-art build is a significant investment by the Ministry of Education in the future of Springfield School and its community. Brad says the building is highly specified and is going to change not just teaching and learning in Springfield, but also the architectural aesthetics of the town as an iconic building. Construction is due for completion before Christmas. Locally owned and operated Bushnell Builders has delivered more than 40 years of commercial and residential projects throughout Canterbury, and the idea of building a better community has always been the firm’s mandate. “We firmly believe in giving back to a community, and this is reflected in our company culture. “As well as giving back to the community with donations to various sporting and health foundations, Bushnell Builders helps to get community projects across the line with its significant cost-savings experience and subcontractor relationships.