By ANDY BENNETT*
IF you visit our primary schools over the next few weeks you will notice some changes. Work has begun on renovation of buildings at East Derwent Primary School and will soon begin at Herdsmans Cove and Gagebrook Primary Schools.
The work, which is the second stage of our building program after the Bridgewater High School MDT Centre completion, is funded under the Australian Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan Building the Education Revolution (BER) Primary Schools for the 21st century program.
All work is designed to create better learning environments for our students, parents, staff and the broader community. We are aiming to provide more flexible spaces and improved facilities for early learning.
At East Derwent primary school, the existing multi-purpose hall will be extended to make a larger assembly area for whole of school gatherings. The canteen will also be enlarged. Other learning areas will be redeveloped and will be connected through to the library by a new meeting room. Later in the program early learning areas will be developed within the main school building and each courtyard will have improved links to adjacent learning spaces.
At Herdsmans Cove primary school, a new covered way will be constructed to link the kindergarten with the main school building. Other alterations will provide for flexible learning areas and redeveloped early years learning, together with a new kitchen extension linked to the adjacent courtyard. The multi-purpose hall will be linked to the courtyard and the playground with glazing and doors.
At Gagebrook primary school, the main school building will be extended at the South-East corner to provide for three new learning areas and support spaces. These areas will provide for access by the community and will connect with redeveloped internal spaces for the library and information technology studio. The administrative area will be altered to suit the redeveloped areas and each courtyard will have improved links to adjacent learning spaces.
The plans for the trade training centre have gone to Brighton Council. Once approval has been given, we will begin a tender process to identify a builder. We are hopeful of construction work beginning in mid October.
Both the gymnasium and science centre building programs are funded under BER. The tender process for both buildings will begin on September 12 with actual building work likely to start in early October
We have convened a group of local stakeholders to help with the decisions about the location and type of services that will be provided through the children and family centre. The group, called the Local Enabling Group or LEG, will meet fortnightly. The LEG has met twice already and is making good progress at understanding all the opportunities and challenges associated with developing our Centre.
For further information and to provide your comments about the Federation you can go to www.education.tas.gov.au/basmlearningfederation
Alternatively, you can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Andy Bennett is manager- Bridgewater and Southern Midlands Learning Federation