AFTER some months of concern expressed by many, the additional $119 million in funding on top of the initial $21.5 million required for the completion of construction of the new Greater Shepparton Secondary College has now been announced by the Victorian Government.
Planned to open for the 2022 school year, the new school has been touted to be world class that will include an Enterprise and Innovation Centre giving senior students access to a broad range of subjects and career pathways in three specialist precincts – technology, performing and fine arts, and sciences.
Local Member for Northern Victoria, Wendy Lovell has welcomed the funding however she is still concerned that this does not provide the best educational options for the region and she also expressed concern over the transition period being over too long a period.
The new school is being built by builders, Hansen and Yuncken who have been in Shepparton since 1925. The project will create more than 300 new jobs and provide a significant investment into the local community with jobs and material supplies.
Victorian Government Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp said, “This is a once in a generation project for the Shepparton community and this funding will see students in the best possible facilities by 2022.”
Ms Lovell said, “The agreement that was reached in getting to this point was that there was to be a tech school. This announcement still makes no mention of that.” In his presentation at the school in February, the Minister for Education, James Merlino said, “A tech school is still on the table for Shepparton’s ten-year plan.” Ms Lovell indicated she will continue to pursue that promise.
Suzanna Sheed, Member for Shepparton District said, “It’s still sinking in and I would like to thank the Premier and Minister for keeping their word and funding this fantastic new campus.”
Executive principal of the new college, Genevieve Simson said, “It’s fantastic, it is almost unheard of that a contract this large would be funded in one round, mostly it would but it shows the determination to make a marvelous school for region.
Greater Shepparton Secondary College students are currently studying at the Wanganui, Mooroopna and McGuire campuses until the new school is complete,
With the prospect of a forthcoming budget that will focus on infrastructure as a means of increasing jobs over the next several years, the need for a technical school remains all the more important if the industry is to have enough tradesmen and women to do the work.
Although this round of funding is for the secondary college construction only, the tech school will have its own funding, Ms Lovell is determined to continue pursuing the Minister’s promise through to its eventuation.