Lo­cal dis­trict pri­mary schools re­ceive grants

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS - By WENDY HUNT

MANS­FIELD pri­mary schools will ben­e­fit from grants which the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced re­cently.

Mer­ri­jig, Jamieson and Mans­field pri­mary schools are among more than 400 schools across the state which will soon have bet­ter class­rooms and fa­cil­i­ties, thanks to a fund­ing boost of more than $ 40 mil­lion for school main­te­nance.

Mans­field Pri­mary School has been al­lo­cated $112,000, Jamieson $21,000 and Mer­ri­jig $15,000.

In Oc­to­ber 2016 the gov­ern­ment an­nounced 436 schools will re­ceive $41.6 mil­lion from the Planned Main­te­nance Pro­gram.

This builds on an al­lo­ca­tion of $10.8 mil­lion to 65 schools ear­lier in the year.

In to­tal, in the 2016-17 pro­gram, $52.4 mil­lion is be­ing al­lo­cated across 501 schools.

The Planned Main­te­nance Pro­gram pro­vides tar­geted fund­ing to schools for spe­cific build­ings and in­fra­struc­ture.

This will en­able schools to re­fur­bish, de­mol­ish, or re­place build­ings that fall be­low min­i­mum stan­dards.

These build­ing projects will ei­ther be run by the Vic­to­rian School Build­ing Au­thor­ity or by the school them­selves, de­pend­ing on the size and type of project.

Ca­role McCluskey, prin­ci­pal of Mer­ri­jig Pri­mary School, would like to spend the money on re­plac­ing a stair­case and a con­crete step.

“I know that doesn’t seem like much, but we all know how ex­pen­sive re­pairs are,” Ms McCluskey said.

“We are al­ways pleased when some­one gives us money and we don’t have to rely solely on fundrais­ing,” she added.

Mans­field Pri­mary School was also de­lighted with the grant.

Act­ing prin­ci­pal Julie McInnes said she and the staff were “very ex­cited and very grate­ful” for the fund­ing.

“No doubt we will be ad­vised on what spe­cific ar­eas we should tar­get, but this money will pro­vide a long awaited op­por­tu­nity to work on our in­fra­struc­ture and build­ings,” she added.

Genevieve Bol­well from Jamieson Pri­mary School has yet to re­ceive of­fi­cial no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the school’s grant, but is de­lighted to hear that it is on the way.

“I will cer­tainly be check­ing the school mail with great en­thu­si­asm in the com­ing days,” Ms Bol­well said.

Mans­field Sec­ondary Col­lege also ben­e­fited from a gen­er­ous gov­ern­ment grant ear­lier in the year and is ac­tively work­ing to­wards spend­ing the grant.

“On the con­struc­tion front, we are about to kick off our Project Con­trol Group that will work over the next 12 months to en­sure our cap­i­tal works fund­ing of over $3m is spent get­ting the best pos­si­ble out­comes for our stu­dents, teach­ers and com­mu­nity,” said Judy Dixon, pres­i­dent of the School Coun­cil.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, things are look­ing good for the lo­cal public schools.

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