Labor candidate for Bass Jordan Crugnale with Minister for Education James Merlino, and Wayne Stephens of ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects. mm033618

WHAT do you want to see in the heart of Wonthaggi?
After Wonthaggi Secondary College’s new senior campus is built in McKenzie Street, expected to be complete in early 2020, the old McBride campus will be transferred to the shire.
The land will be rezoned to enable a different use, the Minister for Education James Merlino announced last week.
But what that use is, depends on what the community wants, says deputy mayor Cr Brett Tessari.
“It’s something the town will prosper from. You [Minister James Merlino] are like Santa Claus every time you come down, you bring fantastic gifts.
“But seriously, this is something the community has been putting a bit of thought into, I’ve already been bombarded with suggestions.
“It will become the central hub of the town and will help Bass Coast to continue to expand.”
Labor candidate for Bass, Jordan Crugnale, said the thinking has been around creating an arts and cultural precinct to include a gallery, library and convention centre.
“This doesn’t happen because one person jumps up and down, gets a photo in the local paper two seconds ago and demands its transfer,” she said.
“We have to thank successive Bass Coast councils who have visioned the potential of the current McBride campus, advocated for the rebuild, stood beside the school community and brought everyone else along with them to today.
“I love being the people’s messenger and their advocate to a State Government that is effective, listens, gets things done and believes in making a change for the better especially in regional areas.”
The council’s seeking $250,000 to develop a master plan for the site, to confirm the cultural precinct idea is still desired by the community – following discussions in 2011.
The land will be transferred to a State Government department but will be managed by the council.
The senior college campus is on-track for completion by the end of 2019.
School principal Darren Parker said the site’s changed considerably since the minister turned the first sod almost four months ago.
“It’s really got the community buzzing,” he said.
“We’re very excited and we’re planning to get staff up here as soon as possible to see it,” Mr Parker said at the construction site.
The school’s previous sports and assemblies space – Webb’s Shed – will also be transformed into a community space.
It will be used to assist students struggling with school.
The council also took the chance to promote its advocacy strategy, which includes a wish-list of projects across the shire.
The McBride transfer is yet another project ticked off the list.