Cox Architecture has revealed its design for a new $100 million secondary school in Whyalla, South Australia.

The design for the school – which will combine three existing government schools in the region – was completed by Cox Architecture in collaboration with Thomson Rossi.

Key design features include:

  • A three-storey build with a STEM-focused design
  • Contemporary learning spaces, multi-level outdoor learning and social spaces
  • A landscaped plaza at ground level
  • Double court gymnasium, expansive sporting fields and courts that can be utilised by the community
  • Performing arts theatre and outdoor amphitheatre

Local students and educators were involved in the design process, providing ideas and suggestions for what the new school required. In response, the design embraces the history and traditions of the existing high schools, simultaneously creating a contemporary sense of identity.

Key to the project is sustainable design that responds to Whyalla’s unique environment. Connectivity is increased through formal and informal learning hubs, as well as linkages between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Whyalla School Cox Architecture environment

“This new school will bring to life the latest thinking in future-focused learning spaces that will inspire and empower Whyalla students to be globally connected with skills for life,” says Cox Architecture director Adam Hannon.

“In creating the concept for the new Whyalla Secondary School, our desire was to create a series of contemporary and innovative learning settings that are conceived as a continuation of the external landscape.

“Compactly planned around a central community courtyard, the multi-level learning precincts and state-of-the-art specialist spaces all contribute to a highly connected and visually stimulating learning environment.”

Director for Thomson Rossi, Marino Rossi says the design reflects an exciting, contemporary learning environment.

“Responding to the rich array of natural landscape settings, the dynamic architectural form of the new Whyalla Secondary School reflects an exciting, contemporary learning environment where local students will have access to global opportunities.

“Visually connected interiors will have immediate access to outdoor learning spaces and elevated outdoor courtyards. A rich array of specialist facilities will allow engagement with all facets of the Whyalla community, creating an important community hub and an outstanding asset for learning for the City of Whyalla for many generations to come.

The new school will be located on Nicolson Avenue between the local University of South Australia and TAFE SA campuses and will accommodate 1500 students in years 7 to 12.

Construction is anticipated to commence in early to mid-2020, with the school opening in Term 1, 2022. The school will replace Edward John Eyre, Stuart and Whyalla High Schools.