COLAC and district secondary schools are set to claim the cash to build a new trade training centre.
School principals of Colac Secondary College, Trinity College, Apollo Bay P-12, Lorne-Aireys Inlet P-12 and Lavers Hill K-12 colleges have signed off on “project-specific schedules”, which means the Federal Government can release $5.51 million to the schools.
Trinity principal Tim O’Farrell said the school hoped to put its part of the centre, which would teach hospitality, to a building tender in the next two to three weeks.
“It’s very exciting not just for Trinity but all the schools that we’ve finally got the trade training centre being built,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“It’s an exciting time for a lot of the youth in the area given the trade training centre funding is very much aimed at providing VET offerings for secondary students,” he said.
“And once our construction’s finished, we’re looking forward to offering certificates one, two and three in cookery and hospitality at Trinity.”
Mr O’Farrell said the school would add its own money to the project and he expected work to start before April.
Colac Secondary College acting principal Simon Dewar said Lorne and Apollo Bay’s schools would receive “minor refurbishments” in the coming weeks, “soon followed by works at Colac Secondary College in the coming months”.
He said Lavers Hill’s school would have equipment upgrades.
“January’s been a big month with the trade training centre as we’ve signed the contracts to enable the project to be funded,” Mr Dewar said.
“There’s been a lot of work from the principals involved in the cluster over the holidays to assure that the funding agreement has been signed,” he said of the auditing process.
The Queen Street college’s part of the trade training centre will be a new building for automotive and construction studies.
“The physical make-up of the centre will be quite significant to allow building and construction and scaffolding to take place inside the facility,” Mr Dewar said.
He said the next step for the principals would be to form a governance model for the new centre.
A year of constructive schoolwork
THIS year will be a year of construction for Colac Secondary College.
The foundations of a $7.5-million upgrade of the Colac school have begun to take shape, while work on an automotive and construction trade training centre could start in coming months.
Concreters will pour the first slab of the college’s third stage of an upgrade this morning.
Site supervisor Andrew McCrae of BDH Constructions said the work was on schedule.
“We can’t complain, we’re getting enough done at the moment,” Mr McCrae said.
“We’re getting concrete for the arts tech building and on the performing arts side, they’re doing the sewerage work there,” he said.
Mr McCrae said BDH was using its own employees, as well as subcontractors, for the college project.
“At the moment there’s only about 10 or 11 people but as it progresses it’ll get up to 40 to 50,” he said.
“It’s been very good for Colac, just for us to pick the job up because it keeps jobs going here and keeps money in Colac as well.”
College acting principal Simon Dewar said the school had received extra State Government money for “landscaping and beautification” of stage three, which included a performing arts and food technology centre and an art technology building.
“The final amount is still being finalised,” Mr Dewar said.
“And there’s also a contribution towards the upgrade of the Bluewater Fitness Centre,” he said.
“Depending on the winter months, construction could be completed around October, which would then result in the demolition of the existing Hearn Street buildings to begin, and this will be replaced with sport fields for students.”