THE question on every student and teacher’s lips this year in Wonthaggi is whether the local secondary college will secure funding in the Victorian budget for the new senior campus on McKenzie Street.
The Victorian budget is set to be handed down in early May and the community is hoping there will finally be funds allocated to the school.
McBride campus principal Darren Parker said it if it happens, it will be an exciting development for Bass Coast.
“We’ve had lots of work going on around the potential new site,” he said.
“The department’s been very supportive and we’re well advanced in the planning.
“Often schools just do a master plan. We’ve completed a master plan and a schematic plan, so we’re well on track and we’re ready to go should an announcement be made.
“We obviously remain hopeful, but it comes down to that budget announcement.”
He added that it had been between eight and 10 years since the initial planning of a new site for the campus had begun.
“The most recent discussions were progressive and positive,” he said.
“We’re certainly well developed in the process in terms of all the steps but it’s all subject to that announcement.
“It would be a fantastic addition to the community.”
In a newsletter earlier this year, college principal Garry Dennis said the 2017 Year 12 cohort is the “smallest we have had for many years”, but added there would be issues in the coming years.
“However with larger year levels following, there will be accommodation issues in 2018 at McBride and the relocation of our senior campus to the precinct site in McKenzie Street remains a priority,” he said.
“I am pleased to report that early in the year the master plan for our new school was endorsed by the Department’s Major Projects division.
“Work continues, but ultimately a favourable allocation in the upcoming State Government budget remains the key to progressing the project.”
The Victorian budget will handed down on Tuesday, May 2.
Wonthaggi school on Shing’s list
Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, said she will continue to work hard to ensure Wonthaggi is understood to be a priority as far as educational opportunity for the region is concerned.
“It’s about making sure that students from this part of the world that come from a very big catchment area, can get to school and learn in an environment that is modern and fit for purpose,” she said.
“This building, whilst it’s got a lot of history, is no longer able to do the job and we’ve known that for a long time so I continue to work on that.
“Obviously we won’t know the detail until the budget’s actually released, but this school is one of the priorities that I’ve identified as far as educational opportunity for Gippsland.”