Labor's $5.7 million Epsom school plan

ALL SMILES: Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan at the $5.7 million announcement to rebuild Epsom Primary School. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
ALL SMILES: Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan at the $5.7 million announcement to rebuild Epsom Primary School. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

PLANNING for a complete rebuild of Epsom Primary School would begin next year under a $5.7 million commitment from the Victorian Labor Party.

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan made the announcement at the school on Friday morning after years of lobbying from the school council and parents.

If elected, the plan included replacing portable classrooms with new buildings.

Mr Andrews said the Labor Party would "waste no time at all" on the rebuild.

"There will be lots of local involvement both from the school community and the broader community to make sure that we get the best design outcome," he said.

"Obviously there's significant planning and other work that needs to be done and we'd be bringing in experts to work with the school community."

Mr Andrews rejected accusations that Epsom Primary School had been overlooked during the former Federal Labor Government's Building the Education Revolution program.

Enrolments at Epsom Primary School had increased from 80 in 2009 to 204 in 2014, with just one permanent building at the school and five portable buildings.

The school council has previously raised concerns about the "ad hoc" solution to the growing school population and the deterioration of several buildings.

Grade 3/4 teacher and acting principal Jake Saddlier said it was a positive day for the growing school.

"As excited as we are, we understand it is an election promise - we do hope it encourages other parties to match the commitment," he said.

"It's been a whole school push, from the school council and the wider parent community.

"Parents are choosing schooling for their children based on the aesthetics of the school, so we would imagine a funding announcement like this would be a positive for the future of the school."

Mr Saddlier said the school was hopeful the plan would include safety considerations of Howard Street.

"It's a very busy road with an increasing volume of traffic because of the amount of housing being built nearby," he said.

"I would hope that if the school if being redeveloped, then pedestrian safety would also be investigated."

Ms Allan said the upgrade could also address some of the "interface issues" with the school entrance.

"We'd hope that these pleas would be listened to," she said.


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