$10m prom­ise for col­lege

Benalla Ensign - - News -

Stu­dents at Be­nalla P-12 Col­lege will have new stateof-the-art class­rooms if the Na­tion­als are elected to gov­ern­ment in Novem­ber.

State Mem­ber for Euroa Steph Ryan made a $10 mil­lion com­mit­ment this week, af­ter a four-year cam­paign for fund­ing to re­build the school.

‘‘Be­nalla stu­dents and teach­ers de­serve so much bet­ter than the de­cay­ing school build­ings they have now,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘The school com­mu­nity has worked so hard for fund­ing and I am thrilled to have se­cured $10 mil­lion to con­tinue the work we started.’’

Ms Ryan said in gov­ern­ment The Na­tion­als would com­mit $10 mil­lion in the 2018-19 bud­get to fund the de­mo­li­tion of out-of-date build­ings and the con­struc­tion of the next phase of the school’s mas­ter­plan.

The school still needs to mod­ernise spe­cial­ist ar­eas, in­clud­ing a new sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy wing, its trade train­ing cen­tre and con­struct in­di­vid­ual hubs for age groups.

‘‘With work on stage one due for com­ple­tion at the end of the year and se­nior stu­dents due to move from Barkly St to the Faith­ful St cam­pus, the school needs cer­tainty about the next stage of fund­ing,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘Some class­rooms at the Faith­ful St cam­pus have been closed off due to mould and as­bestos and most of the build­ings are now al­most 60 years old.’’

Ms Ryan said com­plet­ing the re­build was an im­por­tant step in lift­ing as­pi­ra­tion rates for stu­dents in Be­nalla.

‘‘Re­de­vel­op­ing Be­nalla (P-12) Col­lege will give young peo­ple in our com­mu­nity a brighter fu­ture,’’ Ms Ryan said.

Shadow Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Tim Smith said the $10 mil­lion pledge was a credit to Ms Ryan’s lobby- ing dur­ing the past four years.

‘‘Steph has been a tire­less ad­vo­cate for this project,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘Barely a week goes by in Par­lia­ment where she hasn’t raised the dire need for fund­ing for Be­nalla P-12 Col­lege.

‘‘The Lib­eral Na­tion­als funded the first $5 mil­lion of the school’s re­build and com­mit­ted to the re­main­ing fund­ing at the 2014 elec­tion.

‘‘Be­nalla (P-12) Col­lege is a great school. It is such a shame it has been let down by the city-cen­tric An­drews Gov­ern­ment, which has re­fused to make a com­mit­ment to the school’s fu­ture.’’

Cash boost: Lib­er­als Up­per House Can­di­date Brad Hearn, Be­nalla P-12 School Coun­cil pres­i­dent Michael Plex, State Mem­ber for Euroa Steph Ryan, Be­nalla Act­ing Mayor Peter Davis and Cr Bernie Hearn out­side a school build­ing that is due for de­mol­ish­ion..

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