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Root Partnerships’ NSW Education Lead David Wiles on working under lockdown

Despite the Covid-19 lockdown there’s no slowing down for Associate Director David Wiles, Root Partnerships’ NSW education sector lead. Schools may have been partially closed across the state to adhere to social distancing requirements, and the recent holidays extended, but construction work has continued on site throughout the period, with safety measures in place, so that much needed improvements can still be delivered on time.

The NSW Government is investing $6.7 billion over four years to deliver over 190 new and upgraded schools, with an additional $1.3 billion being spent on school maintenance over five years.

David and the Root Partnerships’ education team are currently working on six projects across Sydney – with three on track for completion this year.

“With several projects running across South, West and Inner Sydney it has certainly been a productive time for the education project team,” says David.  “The entire delivery team has adapted remarkably well, continuing to operate efficiently across all projects.  Everyone has been focused on ensuring project risks are identified and mitigated to provide safe work environments and minimise disruptions due to the Covid-19 restrictions.”

Always on the go, David is an avid triathlete, usually taking part in several competitions throughout the year. He has maintained his focus and motivation while in lockdown with a new training routine that includes doing 20 reps of push ups, squats, bar bends or lunges, whenever he visits the fridge.

“I’ve dared the team to keep up with me and do the refrigerator reps workout but I don’t think any have taken up the challenge yet,” says David.

A qualified Chartered Surveyor and a Green Building Council Australia Accredited Professional, David has over 30 years’ experience in campus and precinct portfolio development planning, and project delivery, both in the school and tertiary education sectors. He has had ultimate responsibility for the implementation of education master plans and is a subject matter expert for the delivery of education capital works programs and transformational projects.

“It’s always very rewarding to see such important social infrastructure taking shape, but perhaps even more so in the current climate,” says David. “As we continue to keep our often already challenging projects moving forward, I have seen wonderful adaptability and resilience from the project team as they find innovative ways to continue working together effectively.”

“It’s a testament to all members of the team that we have seen such strong team spirit during this time of uncertainty and challenges because of Covid-19,” says David. “Keeping these projects progressing is important, not only for our industry, but also for the teachers, students and communities that depend on their successful completion,” he says. “That motivates all of us to keep going.”