DURING his visit to Bendigo on Friday, Premier Dan Andrews stopped by Marong primary school to officially open the new school upgrades.
As part of the upgrades the school received two new buildings: a multipurpose performing arts centre and a repurposed after hours school care block.
The upgrades were funded by a portion of the $12 million school upgrading fund in the Victorian 2017/17 budget, and were brought to fruition by $6.4 million in the 2019/20 budget.
Mr Andrews said he was committed to delivering after hours school care programs - particularly in regional Victoria.
"Those two hours after school finishes each day shouldn't be a barrier for parents or carers getting back into work or study once their children are at school," he said.
Addressing a sea of students and teachers at the Marong school, Mr Andrews said member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards consistently lobbied the premier to deliver more funding for the area.
"Every single time I see Maree she always asks me to do more in places like Marong and every community in Bendigo West," Mr Andrews said.
"If it hadn't been for her advocacy we may not have made this decision to deliver these upgrades for the school.
"This is a reminder that state education and schools are at the centre of local communities."
When planning begun for the upgrades, Marong primary had approximately 70 enrolled students.
The school now has 182 students enrolled.
Ms Edwards said the upgrades meant students could broaden their learning and receive the best possible education.
"It's exciting to see this significant upgrade finally open," she said, "amazing new performing arts facilities (will) make sure every student can follow their passions."
Along with school principal Russell Jeffrey and school captains, Ashleigh, Will, Chiara and Kobi - the red ribbon was cut and the new facilities were finally opened.
The state government is ahead of schedule in its efforts to deliver 100 new schools between 2019 and 2021, with 75 new schools opening between 2019 and 2024.
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