Lemonwood Grove School, Rolleston


Lemonwood Grove School is part of the Government’s $1.1B Christchurch School Rebuild programme.  

Built on a 10 acre site its location was chosen to cater for the anticipated population growth in southern Rolleston, particularly around the new Faringdon residential development.  

The school caters for year 1-8 students and currently has capacity for 400 students. Future plans include a further extension to take up to 750 students. Work has started on a new Special Needs Unit which will service the wider Rolleston area. S&T’s design strongly reflects the school’s requirement for innovative and open-plan shared learning spaces. Students have a variety of environments to learn in from sitting snugly in brightly coloured window boxes to a tiered seating area.  These spaces are housed in single storey buildings with low pitched roofs punctuated with sky lights to allow as much natural light as possible.

Built in response to the Ministry’s Innovation Programme, this project is turning heads. It was a desire of the Ministry that the new school incorporates Green Star design principles, where achievable within the budget. In response, Lemonwood Grove is the first school in New Zealand to be constructed totally from wall and roof panels, pre-made off site in a local specialist factory and included everything right down to the holes for the electrical sockets. The structure uses an innovative ‘warm wall / warm roof’ system utilising high efficiency thermal insulation to separate the roof and cladding from the structure. The build was completed six weeks earlier than the deadline due to the exterior envelope being constructed off site at the same time the steel erection was taking place on site.

The internal learning environments expand on S&T’s approach to Innovative Learning Environments which supports learning through the introduction of key learning settings as opposed to distracting, open-plan space.