Design for super school is unveiled at Echuca South

26 Apr 2017 Riverine Herald, Echuca VIC (General News) by Rusty Woodger ECHUCAs new merged school is slowly but surely taking shape. Early works on the project have already started in the towns west and, on Monday, the school design was officially unveiled to the public. The merger will see Echuca South and Echuca West Primary Schools join together at the one site, with Echuca Specialist School to also make the shift once stage two funding is secured from the Victorian Government. Echuca South principal Karl Stenning said it was surreal to see the project becoming a reality after it was first mooted 10 years ago. It is so exciting, he said. I think when it really hit me was the second last day of last term, we had our first site meeting and that was just exciting to walk on to the site and actually see the school pegged out. Its been a challenge, its been a battle, but thankfully were there. The first stage of the new precinct will include purpose-built learning areas, an administration space, oval, cafe and playground space. Stage two will feature a new gymnasium and additional classroom space, while the sites master plan has allocated space for a possible future early learning centre. Lead architect Robert Bienvenu was at the unveiling at Echuca South Primary School and said the design featured three main boomerangshaped buildings. He said the buildings were practical learning spaces and doubled as a tribute to the traditional owners of the land. The unveiling comes on the eve of the next Victorian Budget, with the schools hopeful stage two funding will be allocated. Earlier this month, Echuca Specialist School principal Paul Marshall told the Riv his school community was desperate for funding to enable it to merge with the other schools. The grounds and classrooms were in at the moment are now completely outdated, he said. In a lot of ways it has become an OH&S (occupational health and safety) issue for us. Its not a purpose-built school and we really need to get off the premises here. Education Minister James Merlino was absent from Mondays event but Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes stood in to fill the void. She acknowledged the three schools were being held back a bit due to their ageing facilities, but said the $11 million investment in stage one was the biggest she had seen for a school in her electorate. The new Echuca Education Precinct is an exciting project that will provide local families with an innovative, modern and inclusive learning space, she said. While the former LiberalNationals Government ignored these school communities, Labor is supporting them and building Echucas students, teachers and parents the facilities they deserve. The Liberal-Nationals Coalition pledged $25 million for the project in the lead-up to the 2014 Victorian election. The new school is scheduled to open at the start of next year. Caption Text: FUTURE LESSON: Architect Robert Bienvenu shows students plans for the new Echuca school at a design unveiling on Monday. The project will see the merger of Echuca South, Echuca West and Echuca Specialist School at one site. Photo: RUSTY WOODGER Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence