APOLLO Bay community would be “devastated” if the State Government failed to fund a school rebuild in Tuesday’s budget, the town’s leading educator says.
Apollo Bay P-12 College principal John McConchie said the town was depending on the State Government honouring a commitment to upgrade the school.
Apollo Bay P-12 College is one of two Colac district schools asking for money for school upgrades.
Birregurra Primary School is also waiting for the “tick of approval” for a revamp of its buildings.
But the government could put out a tight budget with little spending, after revelations its revenue from GST and stamp duty had fallen hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mr McConchie said the school had finished planning for the rebuild.
“We have completed the master planning, and we’re at the point of going to tender,” Mr McConchie said.
“We’re hopeful the funding will be there in the budget on the 1st of May,” he said.
The planned upgrade for the school includes a senior building with a library, a new junior school, home economics area and an administration wing.
The State Government provided $700,000 for master planning in its 2011 budget, and the school is waiting for the remaining $6.3 million for the project.
“It’s been promised, and we’re hopeful that it will be delivered,” Mr McConchie said.
He said the community would be “devastated” if the funding wasn’t in the budget.
Birregurra Primary School has campaigned for new school buildings for “nearly six years”.
School council member Amanda Garner said the school community was “sick of waiting” for funding.
“All we need is the tick of approval for the funding,” Mrs Garner said.
“Everything else is organised,” she said.
Mrs Garner said the planning for a new school had reached the “last stage” of funding with the previous Labor government.
“When the school’s new building project was approved it was just over $1.1. million, a very low amount,” she said.
“They even got down to choosing painting and flooring, it’s been shelved when the new government came in.”
Mrs Garner said she was concerned the dilapidated buildings detracted from the school’s reputation.
“The education itself is fantastic, we have a great amount of teachers but we don’t have the updated facilities to attract people,” she said.
“Because we’ve got all the tree changers coming to the area, I feel we are actually starting to lose kids.”
Birregurra Primary School is on a list of “top-priority” schools that need upgrades.
“We can’t do anything, we’ll just have to sit and wait like everyone else,” Mrs Garner said.
Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells will hand down his second budget on Tuesday afternoon.