Super School work starts in earnest

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MAKING A START AT THE NEW SUPER SCHOOL… Executive principal, Genevieve Simson, year 12 student, Abby Knight, year 12 student, Farsi Hassani, Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino, Hansen Yuncken director, Richard Hansen, Member for Shepparton District, Suzanna Sheed. Photo: Steve Hutcheson

Already a few weeks into the school year, the new school begins, at least for the construction of the new Greater Shepparton Secondary College.

Victorian Minister for Education, James Merlino, visited Shepparton and accompanied by local Member for Shepparton District, Suzanna Sheed attended a ground-breaking, sod-turning ceremony at the site of the existing Shepparton High School. Other than the facade, much of the old school is to be demolished to make way for the new $100M school project.

Minister Merlino said, ”Today is the next step in ensuring that every single student in Shepparton has the best chance to succeed with the support they need.”

The design by architects, Gray Puksand, supports the school focus on having the facilities of a big school, while maintaining the feel of a smaller school environment. The architects worked closely with students, teachers and the wider community to gain their input for the design of the new school.

Builders, Hansen and Yunken has had a presence in Shepparton since 1925 and provides hundreds of jobs for local contractors and workers.

Work on the new school is anticipated to have it ready for students by the start of the 2022 school year. Three of the four secondary schools being integrated into the new school are presently hosting all of the students

Suzanna Sheed said,”It was a milestone today in the emergence of Greater Shepparton Secondary College. The success of this major educational transformation will be dependent on the support of everyone in the community who understands the importance of education and the rights of our young people to opportunity and equity.

“The demolition of Shepparton High School is underway and the Shepparton Education Plan is full steam ahead. For me there is one thing that was certain and that was that we couldn’t stand by and watch the declining outcomes continue. Of course there will be problems but with a positive approach and good communication within the school community I am confident they will be sorted out as the year proceeds.”

Following the ground breaking at the school, the minister was scheduled to meet with some of the parents from the group, Stop Sheppartons New Super School. The group presented the minister with issues and problems that they saw teachers and staff were facing. According to the group, the minister rejected these concerns as nothing more than normal start of the year teething problems.