Toorloo Arm Primary Multipurpose Building

“The school required a building that addressed the particular site issues”

Client Name:                        Toorloo Arm Primary School (Department of Education)

Area:                                      300m²    + ancillary works

Construction Budget:          $1.07m

Builder:                                 CADbuild Construction (Formerly CM & HM Banks Builders)


This project consists primarily of a new Multipurpose Building that includes 3 separate areas that are linked by sliding walls to form a single area. In addition, there is a canteen which serves both the multipurpose area and is open to the external space.

The works also include renovations to the art room, a new open play area central to the school that has a grassed sports surface, works to the existing basketball court including extension of the court surface with a new roof over the court, and the resurfacing of the adjacent tennis court used by the school and community. The project provides several opportunities for community integration. The addition of a canteen to the school where previously there was none has provided the school with several new avenues for community involved events, catering for community events both in the multipurpose building and externally.

One of the major design influences was the orientation of the building, is located on the Eastern side of the site with a mostly Western facing facade. The building was located on the East Boundary to provide a connection from the building to the central grassed area and to maintain sightlines from the front of the school past the main buildings to the rear oval.

As the DET does not allow for air-conditioning but does allow for heating, this orientation affected the buildings’ form, with the requirement to ensure that it did not suffer from excessive Western Summer sun exposure. The roof form extends past the building line to form a walkway around the building and to protect the Western facade from the summer sun. In addition, a large timber pergola feature provides several functions including sun protection while also allowing a line of sight through to the central grassed area from the internal space and a break from the visual bulk of the building.

The school as a whole had undergone a major building upgrade in the previous year with the completion of a BER building that changed the way that the school approached their teaching and educational methodologies as they had previously only had single portable classrooms. As the school students and teachers used this new building their understanding of the opportunities that these new spaces afforded grew. This, in turn, helped to inform their brief for the new development. The school wished to subscribe to the model of flexible spaces with central areas that could be shared by single or multiple classes. This informed the design layout of the rooms in the new building.

Toorloo Arm Primary School Stage 2

“In conjunction with the primary school we were able to customise a new building to the their needs, and develop a solution that enhanced the school grounds and produced an environment that is a delight for all who use it”

Project Name:

Toorloo Arm Primary School BER building



Construction Budget:

$2.0 Million


Brooker Builders

SLAP Architects have been involved with Toorloo Arm Primary School for  some years now with their Masterplanning as well as having designed the original permanent building on the site. The site itself is quite compact and required some special attention in regards to the staging of works to minimise disruption to the school and to allow for future expansion. The school originally had one permanent building and the remainder of the classrooms and staff buildings were portables which were extremely dated in their function, construction, comfort and IT. The project consisted of a template building provided under the Building the Education Revolution program as well as works with additional funding from the government. We worked closely with the school to customise the original design to the school’s needs, adding additional area, joinery and configuring classrooms. The school also added landscaped areas and seating to ensure that the building sat comfortably in its new location. The school wanted the building to be bright and colourful, so we worked with them to produce a scheme that used block colour to compliment the building externally and define the different building elements. Internally we used colour to define the different spaces and to visually break up the large central area. The school was completed in Early 2013 and opened in September by the Minster for Education Martin Dixon. The school is extremely pleased with the building and this is reflected in both the staff and student’s. They provided anecdotes at the opening on having an environment that is a joy to be in. In comparison to the previous portable classrooms the new building brings natural light, ventilation and a consistent temperature. The rooms also benefit from the latest IT infrastructure which is accessible from anywhere in the building. This all comes together to produce a school environment that all those who use it and have been involved in can be proud of.

Toorloo Arm Primary School Official Opening

On September 10th 2013, Toorloo Arm Primary School's new building was officially opened by the Minister for Education Mr. Martin Dixon.

SLAP Architects was proud to be a part of the celebrations for the opening of the primary school's new building and the presentation by the Minister, the local member Mr. Tim Bull and the departing head master Mr. David Sumner. Those attending also viewed a video presentation put together by the student s that documented their appreciation of the new facility and what it meant to them, their community and the educational experience. This development was the first part of building works for the school with a second stage to be commenced in 2014. You can see the building on our projects page here.