BENDIGO students at Kalianna School have been taking full advantage of newly renovated classrooms and facilities, which were part of the state government's multi-million dollar redevelopment.
The first stage of the project saw the specialist school receive a new multipurpose area and classroom facilities, a café space/school hub, repurposed administration area including kitchen and dining facilities, meeting spaces and reading nook, and improved staff facilities, as well as new bus drop-off and pick-up areas.
The second stage of the project included a new classroom block and the renovation of classroom blocks, as well as a new roof over the quadrangle play area.
The new facilities make it easier to work and study, and unite and inspire everyone that visits the school, Kalianna Principal Peter Bush said.
Kalianna students spoke of the benefits of the redevelopment and how it's bettered their learning.
Premier Daniel Andrews spoke about the project and why it was important for special needs children to be given the same opportunities.
"You are worth every dollar of that $15.6 million dollars," Mr Andrews said to the students.
"This is not extraordinary treatment, this is just what you're entitled to.
"In the education state, every child should have every chance to reach the full potential that belongs to them. Facilities and support makes a big difference."
He said it because of the work of parents, teachers, and community that the redevelopment was possible.
"We're so proud to deliver this upgrade for this fantastic school community - it's a testament to the strong advocacy of teachers, staff and families from Kalianna School who fought hard for their new facilities," Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said.
Mr Andrews ceremoniously cut the ribbon to officially reopen the school.
The newly built café space has allowed Year 11 and 12 VCAL students to complete their hospitality training at school, giving them practical skills they can use in the real-world.
Each classroom block now has a combination of flexible learning areas, collaborative meeting spaces with wet areas and staff resources, with the learning areas catering for the school's move to team teaching as well as individual student needs.
Mr Andrews said it was a priority to upgrade the school because the facilities were old and not fit for purpose and the children deserved better.
The government promised to upgrade the school back in 2014 if it was re-elected.
Mr Andrews said there would be a third stage of the project, featuring a multipurpose building set to begin later this year.
"This is not a cost to the budget, this is a profound investment in a fairer Victoria, a more decent Victoria, and a Victoria that will reach it's full potential," he said.
"And you can only do that, when every single Victorian reaches their full potential and that's pretty obvious to for me that's what Kalianna is really about."
The Premier said RAT testing in schools would stay in place for term one and arrangements for term two will be announced soon.
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