HIGHTON’S Bellaire Primary School is among the schools benefiting from this year’s State Budget bonanza.
The school – parts of which were built about 60 years ago – will receive $7.64 million in the upgrading and modernisation works, including in Block B.
Bellaire Primary School principal Suzanne Prendergast said confirmation of the upgrade was very good news.
“This has been in the works for a long time with our school council and school community. I only began at the school at the end of last year, but this was already well under way.”
She said the school council had petitioned governments and met with local MPs about the need for Bellaire to be modernised, “and now we’re in a fortunate position”.
The $7.64 million will rebuild half the school, or possibly more depending on the final layout.
“The two main buildings have been here since the school was built in the 1960s, so it will really modernise the school a bit and allowing us to develop in a way that goes with how we want to teach,” Ms Prendergast said.
She said the school expected to hear more from the Victorian Schools Building Authority within the next few weeks to allow planning to begin in earnest next year.
The pre-budget commitment was announced on Tuesday this week by South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman and Education Minister James Merlino.
“This is an investment in our kids and their future. Because every child, no matter where they go to school, deserves access to state-of-the-art facilities,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“Schools are the heart of our communities, so it makes sense that we’re investing in upgrades to support local jobs to drive our economic recovery.
“Families in Highton have done a phenomenal job in supporting student to learn from home. As kids return to their classrooms, we want to make Bellaire Primary School better than before.
“Not only will this make sure our kids are getting a great education, it’ll also create new local jobs.”
The Andrews Government says 100 new schools will open by 2026 through its school building boom, and it has also invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades, supporting over 7,500 construction jobs.