Celebrating the reopening of the Gillam Building

27 June 2024

Blending historical integrity and modern learning

The Gillam Building, erected in 1924, honours Miss Alice Dora Gillam, MA, the first Headmistress of Woodlands Church of England Girls Grammar School. Over the decades, this iconic building has served many purposes. During the Woodlands era, it hosted 12 classrooms for subjects like English, Japanese, History, and Mathematics. In the early 2000s, St Peter’s Woodlands transformed Gillam into six spacious classrooms, creating an Upper Primary precinct that revolutionised our approach to educating upper primary students.

In 2024, we proudly unveil the redeveloped Gillam Building, a blend of historical integrity and modern learning design. This state-of-the-art innovation centre aims to ignite students’ curiosity, encourage exploration, and foster a spirit of inquiry. Our design respects and highlights the building’s history, preserving iconic features like the arches and the ivy-covered façade.

A key feature of the new design is the large, temperature-controlled common learning space, connecting three classrooms on each level. This space allows entire year-level cohorts to gather for discussions and presentations, while also providing smaller groups the opportunity to collaborate. Large glass sliding doors and windows ensure that teachers can supervise students effectively.

Some design elements we are particularly proud of include the multi-level stage on the ground floor with an adjustable feature light that mirrors outdoor daylight, the sunken nook between the arches, and the first-floor curved ceiling that flows to the outside roof, flooding the space with natural light. We’ve also added an accessibility link from the first floor to the Music Centre lift, ensuring inclusivity for all students and parents.

We incorporated acoustic treatments throughout the building and aimed for a mature, sophisticated interior design for the Year 5 and Year 6 spaces. A range of flexible furniture pieces will soon be introduced, and we expect students to fully utilize and adapt to these new spaces over time.

St Peter’s Woodlands is fortunate to continue expanding and enhancing our students’ learning experiences on these wonderful grounds with such amazing facilities. We have always respected our heritage, ensuring that every redevelopment maintains the historical integrity of our buildings.


Gillam Under the Stars
To celebrate the transformation of the Gillam Building, we hosted “Gillam Under the Stars,” a cosy family event for students and families of Years 3 to 6. This evening allowed everyone to explore the new space, learn about its design features, and enjoy a presentation by our Year 6 students. St Peter’s Woodlands, now celebrating 25 years, has come a long way since 1999, when less than 200 students first arrived on campus. Reflecting on this remarkable journey, we asked the graduating Class of 2024 to envision their futures at 25 years old. Their inspiring presentations were a highlight of the celebration, showcasing the bright futures ahead for our students.

The event featured Food Trucks and drinks. While parents explored the new spaces and mingled, students relaxed with a movie in the Chapel. This celebration marked a significant milestone for our school, highlighting a building that will benefit our students’ education for generations to come.


Gillam Official Opening Ceremony
The official opening ceremony of the redeveloped Gillam Building was attended by our Year 5 & 6 students, staff, and special VIPs, including Her Excellency, the Honourable Frances Adamson AC and the Mayor of Holdfast Council Amanda Wilson. Our students had the honour of spending time with Her Excellency and the Mayor, learning more about their distinguished careers and experiences.

Following this, parents and special guests joined us for the official ceremony, a tour of the building, and afternoon tea.

We extend our gratitude to our architect and designer, Chris Morley from Echelon Studio, and builder, Horizon Construction, for their exceptional work.

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