LEaRN's ARC Linkage success

"Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs"

This new ARC Linkage Project will generate new knowledge to plan, design, govern and manage school facilities and infrastructure, enabling schools to be maximised as ‘community hubs’.

Building Connections aims to support school systems and planning authorities to rethink how schools engage with local communities. To enable this the project has been funded by the Australian Government through the ARC Linkage Projects scheme. Total funding includes $629,331 from the Australian Research Council and an additional $495,000 from Partner Organisations.

The key objective is to advance the cost-effective development of the infrastructure required to deliver community programs and services from school sites, in addition to education programs for school-aged students.

Working with five Partner Organisations including Catholic Education Office Diocese of Parramatta; ClarkeHopkinsClarke; South Australian Department for Education and Child Development; Hobsons Bay City Council; and Queensland Department of State Development, the project’s outcomes are expected to provide a robust and coherent development framework for maximising schools activity hubs to meet the emerging needs of Australian communities.

Adopting a unique cross-disciplinary approach, the project is investigating how to best plan, design, govern and manage facilities and infrastructure to enable schools to operate successfully as ‘more than a school’, encouraging the development of resilient and connected communities.

Doveton College, Brand Architects. Photo by Andrew Wuttke.

Image: Doveton College. Image courtesy of Brand Architects/Andrew Wuttke.

The project is being led by Dr Ben Cleveland and the research team includes:

  • Dr Ben Cleveland - LEaRN, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne (Lead Chief Investigator)
  • Dr Ian McShane - Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University (Chief Investigator)
  • Prof Tom Kvan - LEaRN, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne (Chief Investigator)
  • A/Prof Clare Newton - LEaRN, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne (Chief Investigator)
  • Prof Janet Clinton - Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne (Chief Investigator)
  • Mr Patrick Barrett - Catholic Education Office Diocese of  Parramatta (Partner Investigator)
  • Mr Simon LeNepveu - ClarkeHopkinsClarke (Partner Investigator)

The Linkage Projects scheme promotes national, and international, collaboration and research partnerships between key stakeholders in research and innovation including higher education institutions, government, business, industry and end-users. Research and development is undertaken to apply advanced knowledge to problems, acquire new knowledge and as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

To view the original story released by the Australian Research Council please click here.

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Dr Ben Cleveland