Book | Schools as Community Hubs: Building ‘More than a School’ for Community Benefit

02 May 2023

Authored by Hayball

Schools as Community Hubs in 22-chapter book bringing together research on the planning, design, governance and management of schools as community hubs—places that support the development of better-connected, more highly integrated, and more resilient communities with education at the centre. David Tordoff, Hayball Principal, and Julia Atkin, founder of Learning by Design, authored one of the chapters with a case study of Hilltops Young High School Library designed by Hayball, located in Regional Australia in Young, NSW.

Abstract: This chapter chronicles a merging of previously separate community, school, cultural, wellbeing, and tertiary facilities within a new hub in the regional centre of Young, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. It describes the collabora-tion required between state and local government, architects, educators and com-munity representatives from the conception of the facility within the community, to engaging with multiple stakeholders and policies and the architectural response to a complex brief on a fortuitous multilayered historical site within a diverse cul-tural context. Australia wide, governments are searching for more effective and ef-ficient use of public infrastructure. In NSW schools have long been encouraged to make their facilities available for community use and consequently ‘shared’ use of school owned facilities is relatively common. It is only recently that ‘joint use’ projects have been promoted in NSW. ‘Joint use’ involves significant capital in-vestments of land and/or facilities by two or more parties. ‘Joint use’ projects have the potential to open myriad learning opportunities for a community. In Young, the concurrent need to upgrade and extend the community library facilities and the community’s high school facilities provided an opportunity to develop a ‘joint use’ community hub not only to service the town but for ‘supporting whole of life learning for Hilltops’ – the local government area. With new opportunities inevi-tably come challenges. The chapter discusses challenges around the governance and management that joint use projects present and how this community is design-ing its way forward.

Schools as Community Hubs: Building ‘More than a School’ for Community Benefit (2023)
Chapter: Developing a School and Community Learning Hub: A Case Study from Regional Australia

Authors: David Tordoff (Hayball) and Julia Atkin (Learning by Design)