A new future is building at Mount Rowan Secondary College as construction work surges ahead.
Students moved in to the school's new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) centre last week and expect to be able to use the new food area, canteen and 310-seat auditorium by the end of the month.
Principal Seona Murnane said it was an exciting time at the school, which until its senior centre opened about 18 months ago had been virtually untouched since being built in the 1970s.
An existing wing of original classrooms is being demolished to make way for a new humanities block which is scheduled to be finished later this year, and several other classrooms will be removed within weeks to make way for more modern building.
The school will also shift its main office to a new entrance along Forest Street and the library will move to a new building.
Every other school has been updated. Our kids deserve their school to be at same standard as schools in other parts of Ballarat.Seona Murnane
Ms Murnane said when all the building works are completed at the end of term one next year, every part of the school will have been rebuilt or refurbished.
In the new STEAM building the flexible classrooms will be packed with technology and give classes the ability to work in different groups, easily rearrange the layout of desks and achieve class goals.
The works are part of a $12 million refurbishment package for the school.
"Every other school has been updated. Our kids deserve their school to be at same standard as schools in other parts of Ballarat," Ms Murnane said.
"The school was built and equipped in the 1970s but we need to train our kids how to use the technology of the future," she said.
"We are getting kids ready for the future. We're not traditional learning any more. We don't know what jobs will look like in three to five year's time.
"We've got to prepare kids for the future even though we don't know what it will look like; we've got to imagine what it will look like."
The whole school will be centered around an internal quadrangle to help build a sense of community among the growing student and staff population.
The school has just over 380 students and this year added an extra year seven class, with further growth a certainty with zoning boundaries expanding the school's catchment area to include all of Miners Rest and areas as far north as Clunes.
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Ms Murnane hopes the upgrades will also help the school become a community hub, hosting events for outside groups, other regional schools and sporting teams. Several local primary schools have already approached Mount Rowan to book their new auditorium for their school productions and other events.
A synthetic sporting pitch and landscaping will be the final touches to the school next year.
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