CLIENT MLC SCHOOL
Methodist Ladies College is an independent day school based in Burwood, Sydney. To prepare their students for the transition into the modern working world and help position the school at the forefront of girl’s education, the classrooms needed an upgrade to facilitate 21st century learning.
Ross Kirby, Head of Finance, Systems and Administration at MLC, outlined four essentials for the project:
- Move away from the traditional ‘chalkboard and teacher’ classroom and adopt a more innovative and collaborative education space, where the student is in charge of their education
- Find industry experts to consult on disparate furniture needs and cater for a variety of classrooms, learning zones and teacher workspaces
- Deliver the project on time and within budget –prior to the beginning of Term 1, 2019
- Maintain a collaborative environment that takes the needs of current students and different stakeholders into account
Through an existing relationship with Winc, Ross and his team were introduced to Business Interiors. Business Interiors’ education experience, broad product range and procurement offering made them an optimal choice for the project, particularly combined with the Winc and Business Interiors’ overall supply and distribution capability.
MLC wished to create an environment where students could do all forms of learning – project-based, independent and in groups – in a flexible and transitional atmosphere.
In order to make sure the furniture selection was spot on for all parties, Business Interiors ran extensive product sampling and testing prior to purchase. This included running various virtual reality ‘play spaces’ where students and teachers could test out the environment, interact and discuss potential modifications before designs were finalised. That feedback assisted Ross during the decision-making process and, he says, it helped create a truly collaborative workspace.
“During that process, we took students into the architect’s offices. We asked the children what they liked about MLC, what they liked about different learning spaces, as well as what they didn’t like,” he says.
Alongside meeting the expectations of all involved, the project brought challenges of its own. During the fit-out, an overflow school building was knocked down, meaning the project had to not only be brought forward, but managed around a construction site. But Business Interiors adapted, managing to protect the furniture whilst walls and ceilings were assembled, therefore lessening the stress on the school.
Despite these challenges, Business Interiors was able to deliver the project in time for the students to start their new term in 2019. The upgrade created workspace for up to 1000 students.
As a result of Business Interiors’ product knowledge and understanding of modern workspaces, MLC now boast a large quantity of learning- specific items that are particularly suited to students at high school level.
The result is a modern, comfortable and innovative learning environment that will be just as efficient now as it will for many years to come.
As Ross says, “Entering the building now, there’s a sophistication to it. We created an environment where students from primary school could come into this next level of learning in their senior years.”