MIMILI ANANGU PRESCHOOL IN APY LANDS
23 March 2017
Grieve Gillett Andersen
Construction of the Mimili Anangu School Preschool building is nearing completion, before it will be transported 500km from Alice Springs to its site at Mimili in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands).
Due to the remote location, difficulty of access and extremely limited site accommodation and facilities at the School, transportable construction was chosen for the new facility as the most efficient solution for project budget and delivery. The building makes use of new methods of construction in transportable buildings by having a concrete floor, in lieu of the more traditional light weight framed floor.
The building consists of 7 separate modules which are constructed together to its full completion before being separated, securely wrapped and transported to the site. Minor works are then carried out to the modules to be joined and sealed together. With the building as a whole, the verandah roof and concrete slab is then constructed and attached, which anchors the facility both structurally and visually to the site. With the help of the community, landscaping to the external activity spaces and surrounds will embed the completed building into the community.
The existing preschool and playgroup facilities needed to be urgently updated to meet National Quality Standards for early childhood education, and to deliver important programs valued by the community for children aged from birth to 5 years. The new purpose built 35-place building for preschool and occasional care is also designed to a set of specific education guidelines which aim to provide and support community, diversity, creativity and health.
At Mimili Anangu School, the preparation of food plays a significant role within the community and as such the architecture placed great emphasis on the location and accessibility of the facility’s kitchen to service both the Preschool and Occasional Care wings, as well as the wider community. The Preschool is specifically designed to act as a gathering point and social catalyst for the preschool / junior school families.