$4.8m funding for local schools

August 20, 2021 BY

GEELONG’S northern communities will benefit from a massive funding boost, with the state government committing almost $5 million for major upgrades at two local schools.

Holy Family School at Bell Park will receive $2 million and Covenant College at Bell Post Hill will receive $2.8 million towards facility upgrades and refurbishments.

Member Lara John Eren said the two local projects were funded under Round 3 of the $70-million Non-Government Schools Capital Fund, which is delivering new schools, increasing capacity and providing modern facilities, as well as supporting the removal of asbestos and cladding.

Covenant College principal Sue Cox said the school community was “very thankful” to the state government for approving the grant.

Covenant College has been at its current nine-hectare site since 1983, where the school has grown from four rooms to more than 30 rooms, including specialist areas.

“For several years we have been investigating a unit for children in Years 5-8 with high-functioning autism or anxiety, who find the general classroom difficult and need a different space to access learning at their level,” Ms Cox said.

Covenant College principal Susan Cox shows Lara MP John Eren plans for the college’s upgrade. 

“Part of this grant will help us to build stage one of this unit and the other part of the grant will go towards the growth of our Middle School area with classrooms, toilets and offices.”

Ms Cox said the college would also be contributing funds to the important upgrades.

Holy Family School principal Peter Brunt said the $2-million state government million grant would enable the school to refurbishment or replace the learning neighbourhood, resource centre and student amenities.

“If it wasn’t for this funding, the upgrade wouldn’t be possible,” Mr Brunt said.

He said the school was also currently undergoing a federal-funded upgrade of its administration area, staff and student amenities and learning neighbourhood, which would be complete by the end of this year, allowing for the state-funded work to commence in 2022.

Mr Brunt said a majority of the school would be refurbished or replaced by the end of next year, including the school’s 1950s building which would be partially demolished and upgraded.

Mr Eren said every Victorian student deserved the best opportunity to thrive when it came to their education.

“We’re proud to support better facilities for every school, whether it’s government, independent or Catholic,” he said.

“This fund will get vital projects off the ground to improve kids’ learning and expand facilities in growing areas – giving all Victorian schools access to facilities and classrooms that will lead them to bright futures.”