The new model school for 800 children was designed around February to April 1876, when an architect from the Victorian Education Department, Edward Davies, was appointed to the Colonial Architect’s Department in anticipation of an upsurge of school building works as a result of the Act of 1875. During the Christmas period of 1875-76, the president of the new Council of Education, John Hartley, made a dash across to Melbourne, where he procured plans and specifications of Victorian schools from the Education Department to help speed up the planning and design process to cope with the sudden urgent need for new schools in South Australia.
Woods’ design for Tynte Street School is remarkably similar to the Victorian school of Buninyong, (designed by W.H. Ellerker, 1874) but with subtle differences to suit local conditions and traces of Woods’ design of 1873 for the Grote Street Model School.
Built with the same internal plan as Grote Street Model School, it accommodated separately boys, girls, infants, babies, masters and mistresses, with three of the 12 classrooms being 50 feet in length. Brown and Thompson were the contractors, for £7900. The intended verandah on the facade facing into Tynte Street was omitted. The building was constructed of bluestone with brick quoins and hipped roofs, with a carved wooden bargeboard to the gable that was once adorned with an elegant bell tower.
In 1909 alterations were made. Some of the original double but narrow arched windows were altered to create more light for the classrooms. During this period the Grote Street School had similar alterations. These particular windows were attractive but useless for making the most of natural light. In some cases the arched frames became rectangular, but this has not detracted from the overall Gothic-derived appearance of both school buildings.