Fight to save historic Boort school

PASSIONATE: Eloise Haw, who is part of a group which hopes to save Boort's former primary school, pictured at the school. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

PASSIONATE: Eloise Haw, who is part of a group which hopes to save Boort's former primary school, pictured at the school. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

UPDATE, 8.10PM, WEDNESDAY: A spokesman for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development says Boort's former primary school will not be demolished on Friday.

He could not confirm the department's plans but said the its buildings had been subject to vandalism and safety concerns had been identified.

EARLIER: A GROUP of Boort residents are dismayed and scrambling to find a solution after finding out the town's historic primary school will be bulldozed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. 

The King Street primary school, built in the 1880s, has lay vacant for the past 18 months, and it is believed that it will be demolished on Friday.

Residents first found out about the department's decision when a contractor arrived at the new school looking for a key to the old building. 

Boort resident Jason Lee said a group of 50 residents had banded together to put an interim hold on the demolition for six months to ensure due process could take place. 

He said residents were angered that no consultation and no prior notification had taken place. 

"We just want to see if anything else can be done because so many of us have had five generations go through the school and it's just too important to make sure we don't lose that history," he said. 

Mr Lee said if the community had time to pull resources together, the building could be used as a youth resource centre or much-needed daycare centre. 

"We understand the building has been vacant for some time and the department is paying rates on the propery, but we question why you would bulldoze a perfectly sound  building when the community could raise money and put the building to a good use," he said. 

It is important that we respect our heritage - Dot Boyle

Long-term resident Dot Boyle said the old school was one of only two known public buildings remaining in Boort from the 19th century.  

"(The school buildings) have been well maintained and are in good condition and much loved by generations of Boort residents," she said. 

"It is important that we respect our heritage and at the very least give locals the opportunity to have their say in the future use of these buildings."

A rally will be held outside the former primary school on Thursday at 9.45am, with all concerned residents urged to attend.

People can also pledge their support on the Save Boort Primary School Facebook page, which has already received 400 likes. 

The Bendigo Advertiser is waiting for comment from the Departmenf

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