A BUILDER has been appointed to carry out the much-needed $11.48 million upgrade at Bellbrae Primary School, which is excited to see the final results.
Geelong company Lyons Construction has won the contract to build the new facilities, which will deliver a competition-grade gym, oval and learning spaces – including Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) facilities.
Works are expected to be complete by mid-2022.
The funding comprises $9.1 million provided in the 2019/2020 Victorian Budget, and another $2.4 million announced in May this year to upgrade Bellbrae Primary School’s water and sewerage
Bellbrae Primary School assistant principal Stuart McCoombe said planning for the upgrade’s first stage had already started.
“We’re super-excited, actually, because it’s been a long time coming. The school council and Adrian (Waters) our principal did a mountain of work securing the funding in the first place, and it’s wonderful to see.”
He said the school was very happy with the renders of the new facilities.
“We’ve been able to see those through the planning process all along.
“The school council and ourselves have really focused on ensuring a lot of play space for the kids – that’s been a priority – and also ensuring it would continue to fit in with our rural outlook and feel to the school; we didn’t want to lose that, that’s what makes Bellbrae very special.”
The historic Bellbrae Primary School sign at the front of the school is remaining.
“After a review by the school council and the architect, the original school building will be slightly modified, but it will stay there as part of the new building,” Mr McCoombe said.
With construction beginning in earnest next year, Mr McCoombe said the school would create extra play space towards the bottom of the school property.
“That’ll be the biggest impact, but it actually works out quite well because once the double-storey, six-classroom building is in place, the pupils can move straight into that, and then they will pick up our existing relocatables and move those when the gym starts to build, so it’ll only be a minor inconvenience for the kids.”
South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman announced the appointment of Lyons Construction last week.
“These local upgrades are part of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria, fuelling our post-COVID recovery,” he said.
“Upgrading Bellbrae will give local students access to great classrooms and facilities – because you can’t deliver a first-rate education in second-rate classrooms.”
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 more than 7,500 construction jobs.
To track the progress of the works at Bellbrae Primary School, head to schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/schools/Pages/BellbraePrimarySchool