Principals at Bendigo primary schools earmarked for funding in Wednesday’s state budget have broadly welcomed the announcement, though details are yet to be ironed out.
While no specific dollar figure has been allocated to the school, Spring Gully Primary School principal Francis Trezise said there were a number of areas which would benefit from a spruce up.
“We have a building that’s about 110 years old, a weatherboard building, so there’s always significant amounts of money that goes into maintaining that, so that’s an area that may be considered as part of this project, but we’ll know more in the coming days and weeks,” he said.
Mr Trezise said the school already had big plans in place, with work on a master plan for its future begun as early as 2012.
“In our case, our school’s quite a different site given its location, we’re over three levels at Spring Gully and that brings challenges,” he said.
“Going back a number of years now we engaged the services of an architect to work with the school, particularly around our master plan for the school grounds and the connection of the different layers.”
Mr Trezise said it was important the funding supported all aspects of school life, not just the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy.
“I’m pleased that the money’s been put into the planning stage because I think sometimes large investments of money can be made without proper planning or without proper consultation with the school community, so there should be opportunities for us to do some refurbishment,” he said.
“I think with the process we went through in 2012, where we engaged all our key stakeholders around the master plan, we’re well placed to be able to demonstrate where our community feels the money’s best spent and what we need to ensure the best education for our kids.
“It’s about having the best environment for their engagement at school and their wellbeing, we look at schooling as a much broader focus than just literacy and numeracy and we’re very hopeful that this planning money will support our vision to give our kids the best education.”
Marong Primary School was also named as a recipient of some of the funding, and principal Russell Jeffrey said he was excited by the announcement but had not had any recent contact with the Education Department as of Wednesday morning.
“From our perspective the news that we are going to be receiving some funding to plan for modernisation is very exciting for us,” he said.
“We are looking forward to getting greater detail so that we’re fully aware of what lies a head for us.”