Funded as part of the Nation Building stimulus package, the new Special Education Centre at Tyndale Christian School will be one of the only BER buildings in Australia to cater for physically and intellectually disabled students from reception to senior school students. The facility sits adjacent the existing middle and junior school and overlooks the main school oval to the north-west.
Middle School (The Zone) and Junior School (Good Learning Centre) classes are provided with separate and specialist areas, with facilities for counselling, physiotherapy, speech therapists, and visiting specialists. A life skills or independent living centre is in the middle, included to provide practical learning and support for senior students with significant disabilities to provide skills for transition to varying pathways after schooling. The whole of school first aid centre and a facility for support and counselling for new arrivals and their families, who have come from different cultures and countries, are also incorporated.
The school holds firm views on provision of equal opportunity for all students irrespective of their background or emotional, intellectual or physical ability and this centre is in response to this moral, ethical and Christian belief. Its prime location as the focus of the campus is symbolic of this belief. The strong emphasis on equality and community spirit is reflected in the feature brickwork patterns that wrap the three main volumes, picking up on existing brickwork colours and drawing with a pixilation-type technique to symbolise a unique identity for each student to the centre.
The Junior school area (The Good Learning Centre) has large diagonal stripes with random tilt-shifts or breaks, as if the building has been shaken or jilted, reminiscent of a lighting strike. The mid-section of the facility houses spaces for specialists in speech, physiotherapy and counselling as well as a life skills centre, and is identified by a 'space invaders' type pattern. The middle school (or The Zone) pattern is reminiscent of silted layers of earth, or perhaps a contour map.