Ballarat Secondary College’s Wendouree Campus will receive $3 million as part of the Victorian Budget, in a move that will finally fast-track works at the ailing school.
Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight made the surprise funding announcement at the school on Thursday, revealing the money will go towards the school’s stage two modernisation and upgrade works.
Principal Rick Gervasoni said the funding had been long-awaited, with the school campaigning for infrastructure works for years.
Last year, the school secured $3 million from the state government but the doubling of funds meant major works at the school previously put on hold could commence immediately.
Mr Gervasoni said the school, which was built in 1978, needed to redevelop its maths and science wing as well as its performing arts area, including redesigning its auditorium for community use.
“The extra money mean we won’t have to substantially modify our works as we had planned,” Mr Gervasoni said.
“We are thrilled because it means we can go back and look over what we had been planning to do with a bigger budget.”
The money will also allow the school to build a VCE centre and relocate its aged technology wing under plans already canvassed.
“At the moment some of the buildings are simply no longer fit for the purpose,” Mr Gervasoni said.
“A lot of the buildings were built for different purposes than what they are used for. Then there are the natural maintenance issues that come with older buildings including leaks in ceilings and roofs that need an urgent fix.”
The funding will also be used to upgrade the school’s library facilities and build and new canteen.
“What the funding will do is allow us to create a fresh environment where kids feels as though it’s contemporary and relevant to their learning needs,” he said.
Ms Knight said it was critical every child in Ballarat was given equal access to modern learning facilities, regardless of where they go to school.
“It doesn’t matter where you live, you should be entitled to the best education,” Ms Knight said. “We know the staff here provide best education and they deserve best facilities to do that in.”
The funding boost followed a similar state government announcement last week, which saw Mount Clear College receive $2.1 million to fix the schools ageing facilities.
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