Omata School is a 150 student semi-rural school located in New Plymouth, Taranaki.
Responding to the challenge of how to modernise existing schools to facilitate an innovative learning pedagogy when faced with the constraints of the existing physical environment, S&T has delivered a creative and pragmatic response for Omata School.
In what was an underutilised space of little value, a new ‘Maker Space’ has been created providing an adaptable collaborative learning area with enhanced connections between existing classrooms and to the outdoor environment from inside.
The new space, which opens up to a sheltered outdoor setting, is bathed in natural light and encourages children to interact with their natural surroundings, while simultaneously allowing for specifically messy tasks to be worked on outside.
Finishes are engaging - combining natural elements such as beautiful clear finished plywood ceilings with colourful joinery and wall finishes. Existing interiors beyond the maker space have been unified by simplifying their respective interiors.
The project includes replacement of exterior claddings and roofing, and partial reconstruction, strengthening and refurbishment of other parts of the school.
This project was undertaken as part of the Devon Cluster project, a new MOE initiative to ‘cluster’ projects at multiple school sites for a more unified and effectual outcome. With a total value of approximately $2.7M the Devon Cluster includes works at Devon Intermediate, Omata, Welbourn and Moturoa Schools.