The St Catherine’s School is a private all-girls school located in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Due to the outdated nature of their science labs, a need emerged to refresh and energise the existing space. Amicus were engaged to modernise the labs and create a flexible environment for both staff and students to interact with educational material, encouraging classroom participation.
A total of five labs were refitted and contained all standardised services focusing power, data, gas and water. There was an emphasis on safety with extra precautions including safety eye washes inside and outside each lab and emergency shower facilities.
Amicus worked closely with St Catherine’s to understand the brief and took into consideration stakeholder requirements. The prime aim was to achieve a clean fresh finish, provide better facilities and ensure students were excited to attend the classrooms. There was an increased need for flexibility to move furniture and create more open spaces to foster collaboration. Equipment was meticulously positioned to ensure the best functionality of the space. The project was designed in-house by Amicus providing a turnkey solution and central point of contact. The full project was managed from design to manufacturing including coordination of all trades involved including demolition, partitions, flooring, electrical, AV, hydraulics and painting.
Complying with strict safety standards, labs were installed with gas safety shuttle valves. Bench tops were coated with Laminex to ensure chemical resistance and stainless-steel grade 316 sinks - marine grade for longevity. The teacher’s demonstration bench was fitted with an emergency electronic gas shut off valve. A special under bench area was crafted to allow for student laptops. Outdated projectors were removed and reinstalled fitted with new HDMI cover plates to maintain careful attention to detail.
The product is a laboratory space which has received positive uptake from teachers and students alike. The bespoke safety features fitted to specific requirements, different coloured frames to differentiate the labs, improved demonstration bench, sufficient standing space and storage all contribute to overall value of the project. Sera Hurley, Head of Science at St Catherine’s remarks “The labs have been transformed into a professional looking teaching and learning environment. Many students remarked that they felt like scientists as soon as they walked into the room!”
Amicus walked the stakeholders through preliminary design, offered technical perspective, assisted with material selection to ensure better functional properties and provided a tour of previous project, Ravenswood School which had similar design requirements. Striking the right balance between functionality and cost, and delivered within timeline parameters, St Catherine’s School are the proud recipients of an educational space set to benefit generations of students to follow.