Fund­ing boost for VIC schools

The Australian Education Reporter - - NEWS: VIC/NSW - EMMA DAVIES

VIC­TO­RIAN min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion James Mer­lino an­nounced that 436 schools across the State would share in $41.6 mil­lion to up­grade old build­ings un­der the An­drews La­bor Gov­ern­ment’s Planned Main­te­nance Pro­gram.

Build­ing on the al­lo­ca­tion of $10.8 mil­lion to 65 schools ear­lier in the year, a to­tal of $52.4 mil­lion of fund­ing would be al­lo­cated across 591 schools in the 2016/17 Vic­to­rian bud­get.

The pro­gram pro­vides tar­geted fund­ing to re­fur­bish, de­mol­ish, or re­place school build­ings that fall be­low min­i­mum stan­dards.

There are now 42 new gov­ern­ment schools and hun­dreds of school up­grades in the con­struc­tion pipe­line fol­low­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s record $1.8 bil­lion in­vest­ment in school in­fra­struc­ture.

“The fund­ing boost will al­low hun­dreds more Vic­to­rian schools to re­place or up­grade build­ings in poor con­di­tion so that our teach­ers and stu­dents have the first-rate fa­cil­i­ties they de­serve,” Mr Mer­lino said.

Stu­dents in Mel­bourne’s north are a step closer to bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties with Mr Mer­lino and Mem­ber for Ivan­hoe An­thony Car­bines vis­it­ing View­bank Col­lege to mark the start of con­struc­tion.

The $11.5 mil­lion up­grade in­cluded a new two-storey per­form­ing arts cen­tre fea­tur­ing flex­i­ble au­di­to­rium and the­atre stag­ing as well as drama and mu­sic learn­ing spa­ces.

View­bank Col­lege’s ex­ist­ing science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, arts and maths learn­ing ar­eas will also be re­fur­bished. A weather-pro­tected link with the ad­join­ing build­ing will cre­ate a STEAM learn­ing precinct to pro­mote col­lab­o­ra­tive en­quiry based learn­ing.

“We are mod­ernising and up­grad­ing schools right across Vic­to­ria so that ev­ery stu­dent has the op­por­tu­nity to be their best,” said Mr Mer­lino.

Mr Mer­lino and Mr Car­bines also vis­ited the Rosanna Golf Links pri­mary school to con­duct a site in­spec­tion of the school’s

$6.28 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment.

This in­cludes the con­struc­tion of two new class­room blocks, an ad­min­is­tra­tion area and im­prove­ments to the school’s li­brary and fa­cil­i­ties for deaf stu­dents.

Moorool­bark Col­lege is another of the schools funded by the pro­gram, re­ceiv­ing

$333,000 to up­grade school class­rooms and build­ings.

“Moorool­bark Col­lege is a great school and this fund­ing boost will mean the fa­cil­i­ties can be up­graded to match the high qual­ity teach­ing and learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment the school pro­vides,” Mr Mer­lino said.

“This is about creat­ing bright fu­tures for th­ese stu­dents and en­sur­ing they have ac­cess to the state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties they de­serve.”

The school build­ing boom will cre­ate 4000 con­struc­tion jobs.

Con­struc­tion has be­gun on school up­grades across the State.

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