School maintenance blitz

School maintenance blitz

Bairnsdale Secondary College is set to benefit from a $335,627 maintenance grant announced by the Victorian Government.

The money will allow the school to carry out significant works to improve the college environment.

Acting principal, Noel Creece, says he’s “a fan of the government responding to needs that put our kids in better facilities”.

“You build the space, you build the mind,” he said.

Mr Creece said creating a vibrant school setting generated a positive mindset that permeated the whole population and maintaining it was important.

He said the school committee would decide how the funds were spent.

In all, 30 East Gippsland secondary and primary schools will receive funding to undertake maintenance.

Among some of the other schools to benefit from the massive maintenance blitz are Swifts Creek P-12, which receives $149,000, and Mallacoota P-12, awarded $130,530.

Cann River P-12 College, Orbost Secondary College and the East Gippsland Specialist School will also receive funds for maintenance along with a plethora of primary schools scattered throughout East Gippsland.

Orbost Secondary College will receive $113,289, Cann River P12 has been allocated $76,820 while East Gippsland Specialist School benefits from $97,774.

The funding will ensure existing buildings at Victoria’s 1500 state schools are safe, modern and properly maintained.

In making the announcement, Education Minister, James Merlino, said the investment will more than double funding for maintenance at Victoria’s state schools over the next two financial years, with more than $300 million to be invested in 2019/20 and $290 million in 2020/21.

“It will enable schools to do essential works such as painting, replacing carpet and windows, landscaping, tree inspections and maintenance of infrastructure like septic systems and water services.”

Principal of Swifts Creek P-12, Robert Boucher, said “it’s very exciting news”.

Mr Boucher said the school would direct its funding toward additional painting, reasphalting and upgrading toilet facilities.

“We have an aged infrastructure so to be able to channel monies into improving those facilities is great news,” he said.

Mr Boucher said he was pleased “we’ve got a State Government who is putting money back into schools”.

Mallacoota P-12 Principal, Tim Cashmore, was equally delighted with the allocation of $130,530.

“I look forward to correspondence from the Education Department confirming it,” Mr Cashmore said.

“This is badly needed money to assist in the maintenance of the school building and grounds.

“We’ve had a number of issues here, the buildings are in a very poor state.” As well as repairing rotten timbers and painting the school, Mr Cashmore said guttering and spouting also needed attention. Schools in some of the state’s highest risk bushfire areas, like East Gippsland, will also have access to more funds to ensure they are ‘bushfire ready’, thanks to $44.2 million over five years for fire preparedness activities like vegetation removal. Swifts Creek is deemed to be in a high risk area.

Among the primary schools to benefit from the maintenance funding are: Bairnsdale, Bairnsdale West, Bruthen, Buchan, Clifton Creek, Eagle Point, Lakes Entrance, Lindenow, Lindenow South, Lucknow, Marlo, Metung, Newmerella, Nicholson, Nowa Nowa, Nungurner, Omeo, Orbost, Orbost North, Paynesville, Swan Reach, Swifts Creek, Tambo Upper and Toorloo Arm.