Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Montpellier Primary School to inspect repair works on damage inflicted by this week’s destructive floods.
Almost 20 government schools were damaged during the flash floods which hit Geelong and surrounding areas on Wednesday afternoon, with early childhood education and care services also impacted.
One of two government schools in Geelong that was forced to close yesterday, most of Montpellier Primary School’s 590 students returned to class today.
Nelson Park School’s Illinois Campus (Years 10 – 12) reopened today but its Libau Avenue Campus (P-9) remains closed today while the clean-up continues.
Both Geelong High School and Hamlyn Banks Primary School, which had been scheduled to start classes today, have delayed the start of their school year until Monday.
Although the full extent of the damage is still being assessed, it is expected that the clean-up and repair works will take several weeks.
Mr Merlino confirmed that contractors from the Department of Education and Training had been working around the clock to repair affected schools, with relocatable classrooms installed where required.
The Department is also assisting principals in communicating to their school communities about the impact of flood damage, as well as any subsequent repair works.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino
“It’s not the start to the school year that any of us could have expected – but the floods and their aftermath have again highlighted the extraordinary character and resilience of the Geelong community.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney
“I want to thank families for their patience and school staff for their help in cleaning up the flood-damaged schools.”
Quotes attributable to Montpellier Primary School, Andrew Dalgleish
“I rang the Department’s emergency response hotline on Wednesday afternoon and their contractors were here a couple of hours later. They worked through the night to get the majority of the water out of the buildings.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020