More Classrooms For Our Kids With 15 New Schools Fast-tracked

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with delivering the largest ever new school building project in Victoria, with Premier Daniel Andrews today announcing opening dates for 15 brand new schools in our state’s fastest growing areas.

Mr Andrews today joined Minister for Education James Merlino and Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley at the new Casey Central East Primary School site in Cranbourne to confirm opening dates for the 15 new schools across the 2017 and 2018 school years.

The new schools – totalling $291 million – will be designed, financed, built and maintained for 25 years under the New Schools Public Private Partnership Project.

The Labor Government fast-tracked and expanded the New Schools PPP Project in February this year, adding two additional schools, to deliver new schools earlier for the communities that need them the most.

Additional community facilities and programs will be incorporated into each design, transforming every school into a community hub. In the areas of highest population growth, additional permanent classrooms will also be built, to give our communities the certainty they need.

The former Liberal Government halved funding for new schools and upgrades, leaving our local school system over-crowded and under-resourced.

Schools to open for Term 1, 2017 include:

  • Casey Central East Primary School (Cranbourne North)
  • Cranbourne South West Primary School (Cranbourne West)
  • Heather Grove Primary School (Clyde North)
  • Epping North Primary School (Epping North)
  • Mernda Central Prep – Year 12 School (Mernda) – including primary and secondary school components
  • Mernda South Primary School (Mernda)
  • Pakenham South West Primary School (Pakenham)
  • Point Cook South Prep – Year 9 School (Point Cook)

Schools to open for Term 1, 2018 include:

  • Armstrong Creek Education Precinct (Armstrong Creek) – including Armstrong Creek Special School and Armstrong Creek Primary School
  • Bannockburn Prep – Year 12 School (Bannockburn) – including primary and secondary school components
  • North Geelong Special Developmental School (Hamlyn Heights)
  • Torquay North Primary School (Torquay North)

Mr Andrews also announced Learning Communities Victoria as the preferred bidder selected to enter into final negotiations to build and maintain the 15 brand new schools.

Learning Communities Victoria brings together significant expertise, including Amber as sponsor, ClarkeHopkinsClarke as architect, Watpac as builder, Spotless as facilities manager and YMCA and CERES as community partners.

YMCA and CERES will run community and environmental programs at each school.

In line with the Labor Government’s Special Needs Plan, school design will support new options for students with a disability, including an inclusive education precinct at Armstrong Creek and a special developmental school in North Geelong.

Final negotiations with Learning Communities Victoria will now commence. The contract is expected to be signed in late October, with construction of the first group of schools scheduled to begin by the end of this year.

Local School Reference Groups will be established for each school in the year prior to opening, providing a link between the Project and the broader community during the initial planning and construction stage.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We’re getting on with building more new schools earlier, so parents in our fastest growing communities have certainty and kids get the facilities they deserve.”

“We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so that every community has a great local school and every child gets the chance to succeed.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“Using the PPP model brings together the best expertise and means our teachers and principals can focus on giving every child a world class education.”

“The previous Liberal Government halved funding for new schools and upgrades, which neglected communities and families in our fastest growing areas.”

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley

“We committed to building a new school for this community in 2009, but under the previous Liberal Government all we saw was inaction for four years.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is prioritising this school, which means it will open its doors to our kids in 2017.”