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Case Study: Maintenance Painting at catholic girls' college

Sacred Heart College is one of the largest Catholic Girls colleges in regional Victoria, boasting a diverse mix of historical and contemporary buildings.

Our Geelong Team began providing painting maintenance to the school in 2014, to ensure the appearance of the school was pristine at all times.

The challenge

Amongst many attributes, Sacred Heart College relies on the appearance of its facilities, to attract the best parents and students to engage with on a learning journey. Our Geelong Team was engaged in providing a more effective return on the school's investment.

The school is comprised of multiple buildings, with the eldest over 150 years old. The paintwork plays an important role in marrying the look of the older buildings, with their contemporary counterparts. Achieving this can be particularly difficult, given the ever-increasing volume of staff and students who occupy these buildings. This creates the need for major works, such as the repainting of several building blocks, to be conducted during non-operational hours.

At our first on-site inspection, it was clear the facilities were not in a poor condition, however there were signs of neglect in the condition of several painted surfaces. It was communicated to us that the school's key issue was the lack of flexibility related to their painting maintenance. To satisfy the school’s painting needs, a transparent, flexible solution was required.

Solution

Our Geelong branch had a limited resume providing painting maintenance when first contracted by this school. We did, however boast a feature that has since become embedded in Higgins’ service offering - transparency. We provided a multi-year painting maintenance plan that featured a detailed overview of our operational hours across the plan’s duration. In addition to this, we set several performance-based measures to ensure that our level of service did not fluctuate. Discretionary hours were built-in to the painting plan, to enable the school’s Facilities and Maintenance Manager to dictate any works not accounted for in our initial assessment.  

We have been able to meet the school’s needs by working flexibly at all times throughout the calendar year. Increased labour over the school holiday periods is used to tackle larger projects. Respecting the nature of the school, special internal projects have been completed during school term with one of our female painters.

Significant work focussed on maintaining the appearance of all buildings contained within the school. We applied a coating system that aimed to standardise the colour throughout the college. Through applying this specification, we have been able to reduce the observable age difference in the buildings and assist the school in its presentation.

Results

Despite this being one of the inaugural painting maintenance plans undertaken by our Geelong Team, we maintained the customer’s asset without any major issues. Having been pleased with the results and performance of Higgins throughout the term of our engagement, we have recently been re-contracted to perform another multi-year painting maintenance plan at the school.

"We employed Higgins for a six-year painting maintenance agreement which was coming to completion in 2020.  Due to their excellent workmanship and service delivery, we have now extended our partnership for a further six-year term. Higgins impressed us from the outset with their proposal & flexible painting program that could be used at our discretion. Full-time project management and an on-site foreman has allowed open communication and ad hoc projects were easily taken care of. We look forward to continuing this working relationship with Higgins long into the future."

Facilities and Maintenance Manager, Sacred Heart College

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