The Mirror News

Schools rejoice at funding shock

• Matt Wallis: the Foster Primary School school council president has been one of the driving forces behind the replacement of asbestos buildings.

FOSTER Primary School and Fish Creek Primary School are set to receive close to $2.5 million to remove and replace asbestos-riddled buildings.
“Wow. This is very exciting news. We’re absolutely thrilled,” Foster Primary School principal Lorraine Gurnett said.
Ms Gurnett said the shock announcement, which was delivered via a press release to The Mirroron Monday afternoon from the office of Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing, came after a concerted two-year campaign by the school council.
Last week’s Mirrorfeatured a detailed story with council president Matt Wallis, where he expressed his frustrations at the school being left out in the State Budget.
Fish Creek Primary School principal Dale Banks said he was also thrilled at the news.
“It’s very exciting. We really did need this and any opportunity to offer the kids a safer environment is something we relish,” he said.
“I can’t wait to tell the school council. We’re in a state of shock.”
Under the plan, Foster Primary School will receive $1.73 million to replace its Block C and D buildings with architect-designed permanent modular buildings.
The buildings are constructed off-site and delivered to schools, so that teaching is not interrupted. The Victorian School Building Authority will work with schools on building details such as colour and location.
The same will apply to Fish Creek Primary’s school’s main building, at a cost of $758,000.
Ms Shing said the funding is part of the state government’s Asbestos Removal Program.
“Unlike the Coalition, that closes schools and refuses to invest in upgrading facilities when it’s in government, we have invested record funding towards improving school infrastructure throughout Gippsland so that more students can learn and thrive in great facilities,” she said.
“Using permanent modular buildings increases flexibility for schools and means they can get the buildings they need more quickly and with less disruption.”


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