Time for a change: ISG Jubail’s new school

The new school is coming in June or October 2017


ISG Jubail school leaders accompany construction project managers from Rider Levett Bucknall during a tour of the Jalmudah construction site on May 2, 2016. // Photo: Netzler

It’s not a pretty site. Yet.

A forest of steel rebar grows out of rough, unfinished concrete slabs. Window-shaped holes cast window-shaped shadows onto the concrete. Temporary sand ramps lead up onto the concrete skeleton of what will be the future ISG Jubail school. Currently a hive of activity, the site sits in a plain-looking, sandy-colored area of the Jalmudah neighborhood, consisting mostly of concrete-walled compounds that are home to a mix of Saudi residents, workers in the petrochemical industry, and students at the Jubail industrial college.

Currently, 120 laborers work at the site, and 120-degree-Fahrenheit (48-degree-Celsius) days are on the way, and construction is guaranteed to be complete by October of 2017.

“Contractual date is 12th October 2017, but we are trying to bring the date forward to June,” wrote Robert Beatson in an email. Beatson is Senior Project Manager for Rider Levett Bucknall, the global property and construction practice managing ISG Jubail’s Jalmudah school construction project.

As the principal who has been involved with the new school project from the start, I’m excited about the development because it is a purpose-built facility that will provide students a fluid and dynamic learning experience as they make their way through the hallways and classrooms. The flexible nature of the design will offer teachers and students alike an opportunity at a truly unique learning experience. Our student body and size of school is currently close to capacity. We want to be able to meet the needs of our expatriate community, and this school will allow us to do that for the foreseeable future. ”

— Dan Mock, ISG Jubail Head Principal

If the project is completed in October 2017, Russell Rein, ISG Jubail Director of Operations, said that during the winter break of the 2017-18 school year, middle school and high school furniture and other items could be moved into the new school so that middle school and high school classes could commence at the new Jalmudah school beginning in January of 2018.

According to Dan Mock, Head Principal of ISG Jubail, the Jalmudah site was selected as the site for ISG Jubail’s new school by the Royal Commission, and construction initially began in September 2014. Instead of the 20,000 square-meter site where they are currently building the new school, Mock explained that he was seeking a site five times that size — 100,000 square meters — so that a new elementary school as well as new middle and high schools could be constructed on the same site. As it is, the new site is large enough for one large, state-of-the-art facility that will serve ISG Jubail students in grades six through 12. Elementary students will remain at the current Al Lulu site, being able to spread out into the entire school building.

After years of planning and working through logistics with the Royal Commission, Mock is happy to be nearing the end of the construction project so that school activities at the Jalmudah site can commence.

“The vision for the new school is for it to become the central focus for our community in all academic and extracurricular areas we value,” said Mock. “From the performing and visual arts, to state-of-the-art science labs, to sports and athletic facilities, it will provide a multitude of opportunities for students and families to develop well-rounded skills as well as seek out potential interests.”

The entire site has been designed with the needs of 21st-century school in mind.

One main construction element that makes the new school’s construction safer and stronger and also economically efficient is the building’s employment of post-tension slab. A post-tension slab is a slab of concrete that has been pre-stressed by a specific method to increase the strength of the concrete, such as by using steel rebar tubes that are tensioned inside of the concrete slabs. The resulting building’s concrete frame is lighter, stronger, and safer, and since less concrete is used, less expensive than traditional concrete slabs.

The facilities have been built with an eye to the future.

“With good maintenance, it should last for the duration,” said Russell Rein, ISG Jubail Director of Operations.


ISG Jubail's New School (1)