Monday, May 09, 2016
And about time too! Geelong High has plans for redevelopment so that's good news. We have two grandchildren going to Geelong High and also our three boys went there earlier on, and we lived in Shenton nearby - the manse now part of the school.
PORTABLES are out at Geelong High School, with garden views, a dance studio and airy atrium among the brand new facilities moving in for students to enjoy in coming years.
The 106-year-old school this week unveiled its plans for a $20.5 million facelift, which will see seven portable classrooms banished as part of a three-stage development spanning three years.
Assistant principal Ken Stewart is leading the project and said works were long overdue after years of lobbying for government funding, which attracted bipartisan support in the lead-up to the 2014 state election.
“We’ve missed out a bit over the past 40 years in terms of funding grants — to have it all come together in one lot gives us the advantage of knowing we can complete the whole project in one go,” he said.
“The whole landscape will be finished and it also allows for new furniture, which is great.”
Designed by award-winning architect firm McGlashan Everist, the project goes to tender on November, with construction to begin in February.
As crumbling walls make way for a new building for year seven students, a new storey will also be added to the 100-year-old Kroger Building.
Additional stages of the development include repurposing of the RJ Vague Building, with art rooms moved to the first level so students and teachers can take in views of Eastern Gardens.
New VCE classrooms, a student lounge, cafeteria and wellbeing offices are also on the agenda, but the school has also been mindful of retaining its historic elements while bringing in new technology, Mr Stewart said.
“We have a very strong group of students interested in sustainability and will also begin applying for grants to meet the six-star energy rating,” he said.
“The students have been involved with the design as well, and we’d like to involve the community as well — it brings different perspectives about what’s important and we’ll get a better outcome.”
Previously described as “archaic” by Member for Corio Richard Marles, the school was ranked Geelong’s most run-down in 2011, with regular floods, asbestos, neglected ceilings and compromised disability access among its issues.
School staff were also known for sandbagging buildings to prevent flash flooding after torrential rain.
A community forum will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday, May 12 in the Geelong High School hall to discuss the school’s design and the thinking behind it.