New School Buildings: Victoria
With more than 90,000 additional students forecast to enter Victorian schools in the next five years, the State has taken action – undertaking the most ambitious school building program in its history.
THE Victorian State Government has committed $2.5 billion towards school infrastructure projects in the last three years to deliver 56 new school projects and 10 new tech schools.
The State currently educates almost one million students across 2241 Government, Independent and Catholic schools, with enrolment numbers growing by the day.
“Victoria is the fastest growing State in the country – that’s why we’re investing more than any Government in Victoria’s history in our schools,” State Education minister James Merlino said.
“We’re building the schools the State needs, providing record funding and ensuring our education system grows as Victoria does – so our kids get the best start in life, wherever they live.”
In 2016, the Government formed the Victorian School Building Authority to oversee the design and construction of new schools, early childhood centres, and renovations of existing infrastructure.
Each of these projects will be architecturally designed, and built in partnership with the school community and principal, drawing inspiration from the latest school design trends to prepare schools for the years ahead.
“The schools our kids will be using in a decade will look very different to the schools of our childhood,” Mr Merlino said.
“Plans for vertical schools have been designed to maximise space, and provide outdoor spaces and opportunities for students to engage with nature.
“As well as building and reforming schools, we are transforming neighbourhoods by including sport, cultural and other facilities that can be shared with the wider community.”
Hayball director Richard Leonard, an architect tasked with designing some of the State’s new schools, said the Government’s investment was a “very significant commitment” to deal with the back-log in new facilities required and upgrading existing stock.
“The regular upgrading of schools is a critical Government policy, particularly at a time in this sector where new models of education demand different spatial responses,” Mr Leonard said.
“Put simply, the old classroom model just doesn’t ‘cut it’ in the modern education environment.
“It was a superb piece of design for the industrial era, but in this, the Knowledge Era, we’ve progressed to very different learning landscape.
“We still need some classrooms, but we also require many more types of teaching and learning spaces.”
“Put simply, the old classroom model just doesn’t ‘cut it’ in the modern education environment.”
Richmond High School.
Ivanhoe Grammar — Year 9 Centre.
Whittlesea Tech School.