Ballarat’s new tech school at Federation University is on track to be open by 2018.
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On Monday Deputy Premier and Education Minister James Merlino announced an architect for the project had been appointed.
“Today is a major step forward,” he said.
“It’s going to be a great benefit to students to families in the Ballarat region.”
Federation University will run the tech school, and one of its SMB campus buildings on Albert Street will be renovated to accommodate it.
The school will offer “taster” science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses for year seven to ten students and VET courses for year 11 and 12s.
Mr Merlino said benefits were wide-ranging.
“You have that immediate engagement with TAFE and tertiary institutions,” he said.
“(And there will be) masterclasses in physics, chemistry, they’ll be working on equipment that individually schools would not be able to afford.”
John Voudouris from Patrick Architects said the building itself would be important for the students.
“We’re looking to transform building K into a new optimistic centre for learning, which will give high school students a view into future possibilities for their career choices,” he said.
“(It will be) a design that represents that both internally in its program and externally in its appearance as well.”
Mr Voudouris said the firm had successfully designed schools before and knew what worked.
“The new mode of more flexible learning plans, the new pedagogy is moving towards more flexible plans to accommodate various types of learning and various speeds of learning in students, and aspects of that will come into our planning,” he said.
Executive Director of Federation College Shirley Fraser said at the announcement of the site in April she was thrilled about the project.
“It will benefit students from year seven to 12,” Ms Fraser said.
“The centre will be a high-tech school for all students to come to and the focus of learning there will be related to science, technology, engineering and maths.”
Ms Fraser said the centre would hope to open up employment opportunities for Ballarat’s next generation of workers which tied into the city’s emerging industries.
“It will really look at where the jobs of Ballarat’s future are heading,” Ms Fraser said.
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