This project converts the former Ferntree Gully Secondary School and completes Victoria’s key schools for Autism in the Eastern Region. The school was reinvigorated without adding any new building. It is designed to offer an interface for autism in the East of the State by spreading its influence in training with the Catholic University (PLC). It will enable students in both mainstream
and specialist settings to be taught using the TEACCH philosophy. The school has spaces for family contact and support such as counselling, social events and parent education. Its innovative use of a derelict school is evidenced by its new face to the community and educational role it will have in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The school breaks
down the rigidity of its original 1970s design to enable innovative spaces, its open areas into its sub schools that can serve students, parents and educators. The original 'H' plan of the school was reinterpreted to give 3 sub schools; Junior, Middle, and Senior, with a 4th quarter being the PLC. A central spine has administration, staff spaces,
and a Multipurpose and Family Centre catering for parents, social areas, and counselling /assistance. A screen at the entry echoes the colours of the school breaking down the 1970s block façade and enclosing a staff courtyard. A large secure drop-off at the rear of the building gives separate Junior/Senior access and safe bike play.