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 Australian Education Reporter - - CONTENTS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI

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.

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