Building On Our Shepparton Connection With Major School Project

The Greater Shepparton Secondary College (GSSC) opened to the public last Friday, contributing another key project to a community we have been heavily involved within for nearly a century.

Designed by Gray Puksand, the school is set to be Victoria’s largest high school campus in the coming years, providing space for up to 2,700 students, with 2,223 students currently enrolled.

“Greater Shepparton Secondary College is a pioneering facility that raises the bar for education construction,” says Tom Cumming, Senior Project Manager.

“Its three ‘neighbourhoods’, double gymnasium and Enterprise and Innovation Centre presented a number of complex challenges, including a fast tracked timeline.”

The project began with the demolition of the former Shepparton High School in January 2020. Five new buildings were then constructed, with the revitalisation of a heritage schoolhouse and wide scale landscaping completed by January 2022.

“Delivering the project at this speed required advanced construction practises and close relationships with the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) and stakeholders.”

Cumming says the construction company utilised the services of a number of local contractors to educate 95 local trainees and apprentices during the project.

“It’s important to us that we add to local financial and knowledge economies. The skills our local partners have earned with us will stay in Shepparton and help inform future construction in the area.”

Hansen Yuncken additionally was able to employ workers living with disability to plant established trees throughout the site in conjunction with social enterprise ConnectGV.

The money paid to ConnectGV for the project has since allowed them to provide meaningful long-term employment for workers within their nursery complex.

The project is recognised as the first to undertake onsite Rapid Antigen Testing for COVID-19. Partnering with Incolink to deliver the tests twice on a weekly basis, the precautionary measures earned the team a COVID-19 Gold Standard Accreditation.

“Despite the behemoth scale of the new campus, I have heard various members of the team remark that it has been one of the cleanest construction sites they have ever worked on,” says Cumming.

“This is testament to a huge team effort across the board to take the COVID-19 situation, and the health and safety of one another, seriously. The entire team should feel very proud.”

The construction company has deep roots in Shepparton, operating within the community for 97 years.

“I’ve lived in Shepparton all my life and went to South Tech’s McGuire Campus as a kid. My wife and two daughters also went to Shepparton High and now my grandson will go to Greater Shepparton Secondary College. It’s an honour to have helped build this amazing new school for him and his classmates,” says Site Manager Graeme Spence.

“Like so many communities, Shepparton has been doing it tough during the pandemic. It’s been rewarding to be part of a business that supports local causes.”

Since 2020, we have donated $10,000 to Shepparton Foodshare to bring food to the tables of local families living in isolation. A 1,270 litre freezer, worth more than $8,000, was also provided to the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project to support their work with youth facing food insecurity. The team is also currently working to provide a secure area for Mooroopna Life Church’s emergency housing for victims of domestic violence.

“The GSSC project highlights Hansen Yuncken’s commitment to not only deliver complex projects but also the team’s dedication to supporting, and engaging, local communities,” says Cumming.

“The Greater Shepparton Secondary College is a pioneering facility that will help shape the future of Shepparton, starting today. It does so with a built-in legacy of upskilling local construction professionals, providing jobs for people living with disability and helping families and youths in need.”

The school welcomed students at the commencement of the 2022 school year.