Calliope State High School

[08.05.2019] Construction is underway for the Calliope State High School project.

[14.03.2019] Concept images for the new state high school for Calliope. This project involved both master planning and detailed design, resulting in a series of buildings that Biscoe Wilson Architect’s are excited to see realised, and we were proud to have this project was featured on the Gladstone Observer. The Calliope State High School (Stage 1) is currently scheduled to take year 7 and 8 students in 2020.

Stage 1 of this  project is currently under construction, and photos of the final project are yet to come.

Calliope is located at the ‘cross-roads’ of the Bruce Highway and Dawson Highway in Central Queensland, 20 kilometers SSW of Gladstone. The town was named after the ship Calliope which brought the Govenor of New South Wales to Port Curtis in 1854. Industries of the town included gold mining, beef, timber and more recently heavy industry via Gladstone. The 14.3 hectare site is located close to the centre of Calliope and is a gently sloping site facing north. In 2011, Calliope’s population was 3,058 people. The town is currently served with a state primary school only, causing high school students to travel to Gladstone daily. Residents have been lobbying the State Government for many years to develop a State High School at Don Cameron Drive, land that was initially earmarked for a high school. In 2013, the Newman LNP government intended to sell off this land, however a change in government saw a recommitment to constructing a new state high school on the site, later confirmed by Palaszczuk Labor Government in 2018.

Through a standard tender process by the Queensland Department of Education, Biscoe Wilson Architects were successful gaining the opportunity to develop a masterplan for the Year 7-12 State High School and to develop the design for the first stage of the school for year 7-10 students. Biscoe Wilson Architects were later engaged by the successful Design and Construct Contractor, Paynters, to finalise design and documentation for Stage 1 which is due for completion by the start of school in 2020. Biscoe Wilson Architects have worked with Paynters on previous projects, such as the Springfield State High School E Block building. 

Executive and Student Services Centre (Block A)

Resource Centre (Block B)

The Stage 1 buildings include carparking and stop-drop-go zones, an administration and staff centre, junior general learning centre (JGLC), resource centre, multipurpose hall, outdoor playing courts, hospitality block, canteen, science centre, and technology centre. This project provided an unique opportunity to showcase Biscoe Wilson Architects’ focus on designs that provide comfort, innovation, inspiration and sustainablity. Stage 2 facilities will include senior science, senior general learning, a performing arts centre, senior applied technology centre, additional external playing courts, music centre, art and design, and senior staff centre.

All buildings are designed for equity and accessibility.

Multipurpose Hall (Block C)

All buildings are accessed off a central covered spine that asts as a village street intended as a meeting place for students and the school community. A series of single-storey and two-storey buildings are sited to form landscaped courts between them. A central green space will act as a Stage 1 oval that will be expanded in Stage 2 with a second main oval. An internal circulation road around the internal perimeter of the site provides safe and secure servicing of the school with separation from pedestrian path networks.

Hospitality Centre (Block D)

Single thickness linear plans with long axis facing north encourage passive ventilation where possible. Calliope is in a particularly warm climate zone, and all buildings are required to be air conditioned to provide suitable comfort levels during the hot conditions. External glazing is extensive and comprises high and low level louvres to ensure good natural light and ventilation to all spaces. Clerestory windows with raking ceilings are used in a number of deeper plan formed buildings to ensure natural light and air are introduced into the central spaces. Care has been taken in the design of roof overhang widths and extern sun control awnings and screens to regulate entry of direct sun into buildings. In consultation with our Energy Efficiency and Acoustic consultants, the building envelopes are designed to be environmentally and acoustically efficient.

Roof water is collected in underground tanks for use in irrigation the ovals and landscaped areas whils overland flow is captured and treated in bio retention swales.

Canteen (Block E)

Landscaping has been designed to provide a shaded, low maintenance landscape environment. The combination of soft and hard landscape elements create usable courtyared between teaching spaces. A series of outdoor covered areas within courtyards provide additional covered seating areas for students to rest, have lunch and learn.

The materials were chosen for their sustainability, durability, and ease of maintenance. The rooves and awnings are to be Colourbond Whitehaven and metal wall cladding to be Colourbond Shale Grey. Interpon Precis Pure Gold is used as a feature on several screens and gates throughout the school, alluding to the gold mining industry of the town’s beginnings. 

Biscoe Wilson Architects have worked with Paynters on previous projects, such as the Springfield State High SLC building.

Junior General Learning Centre (Block F)

Applied Technology Centre (Block H)


Architectural Team | Robert Biscoe, Marion Wilson, Anita James, Winson Leung, Joelie Vinall-Clark, Jonus Darr, Monique Pousson, Balazs Zsiga, Jas Stancombe

Client | The Queensland Department of Education

D&C Contractor | Paynters

Structural/ Civil Engineer | Farr Engineers

Hydraulic /Mechanical/Electrical Engineer | DMA Engineers

 Landscape Architect | Jeremy Ferrier Landscape Architects

Acoustic Consultant| ANV – Acoustic Noise and Vibration

Private Building Certifier | BCA – Building Certifiers Australia

Fire Engineer | Orbe

Environmental Consultant | FS5

Surveyor | Vision Surveys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s