Department of Education



Team Leader

Mitch Grimmer

Project Manager

Donald Cant Watts Corke


Cox Architecture (Design) / ThomsonAdsett (Documentation)

landscape architect


Civil & Structural Engineer


Services Engineer


Hydraulic Engineer

SPP Group

Lift Consultant


Fire Consultant

SPP Group

Building Certifier

McKenzie Group

Quantity Surveyor

Donald Cant Watts Corke



Project value



Weeks to build






Hutchies has been building schools with the Queensland Department of Education for over a century. We are thrilled to have been appointed as the builder for Stage 1 of the Fortitude Valley State Secondary College (previously known as Inner City North State Secondary College) — the first new inner city state high school in Brisbane to be built in over 50 years. The school is a flagship, future-focused educational facility, architecturally designed by Cox to sympathetically integrate with its inner urban surrounds. The elegant building has both traditional classrooms and contemporary workshop and collaborative spaces over a number of levels

Located on the corner of St Paul’s Terrace and Brookes Street, at the site of the former Fortitude Valley State School, the college maximises available space on the compact inner city footprint, with a vertical design that provides a range of flexible learning environments. The innovative design sets a new benchmark for contemporary, urban schools in Queensland. We’re pleased to have collaborated with our long time partners ThomsonAdsett who undertook the architectural documentation for us. 

Hutchies was thrilled to open the first areas of the school in time for Term 1, 2020 on Tuesday 28 January 2020. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Grace Grace welcomed the first Year 7 students on their first day with the opening ceremony held in the new auditorium. The school's new vertical building and sports oval was completed ahead of schedule in July ready for Term 3, 2020.

In 2021 Hutchies was appointed to construct Stage 2 which includes a specialist learning and state-of-the-art sports centre on the eastern edge of the campus, neighbouring Green Square. 

I checked the Hutchies website for some information and when I read the values, I just thought they sum you and your team up so well. I often tell people about the day that I said I could live with the guard rail on the side of the road and you said, "I don’t want you to live with anything. I want you to love everything." That has been your approach the whole way through and I really do appreciate it.


Stage one of the development — the performing arts centre, sports centre, and main vertical building — was delivered by Hutchies in three separable portions. There are provisions for a future second stage, and once complete, the school will be able to cater for up to 1,250 students.

The new secondary school provides additional capacity for the growing communities in Brisbane’s rejuvenated city fringe suburbs like Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Newstead and Teneriffe. The new school will partner with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to provide innovative pathways and outstanding career opportunities for young Queenslanders.

During construction, the project directly employed around 300 people, and generated additional indirect economic benefits to surrounding businesses and the community.

After successfully being appointed the preferred contractor through a competitive tender process, DoE tasked Hutchies with finding suitable options that resolved budget constraints on the project. Our team worked collaboratively with all stakeholders including consultants and our subcontractors to explore and create value management options that didn’t compromise design or quality. This included a building services rationalisation where we were able to remove the roof top plant level through a redesign that relocated it to a lower floor, used more efficient equipment and reduced the overall height of the building. We also explored alternate material options that achieved the original design intent and met the high-quality expectations of Hutchies, the architect and DoE. In total, these value management options created significant cost savings to the project.

The program for this school was extremely tight, the tender was awarded in October 2018 with completion due July 2020. To fast-track the project for DoE, Hutchies was able to overlap the upfront design with more early works on site than originally planned to speed things up. This, along with structural methodology efficiencies provided the required acceleration across multiple separable portions of the project delivering the project 9 weeks early (15% reduction on delivery timeframe).

Official Opening / 28 January 2020

Official Opening / 28 January 2020

Year 7 Class of 2020

Year 7 Class of 2020

Before & After


#Stage 1 Overview


#Sod Turning

Fortitude Valley State Secondary College


#Find out more about this project