OFFICIALS turned the first sod for the brand-new junior campus of Wonthaggi Secondary College in San Remo last week.

Although it was mostly a symbolic sod turning, as work had already started, it was certainly a day for celebration.

Education Minister James Merlino visited the site to turn the sod, together with Bass MP Jordan Crugnale and Wonthaggi Secondary College principal Darren Parker.

When complete, the school will include a range of world-class facilities, including an administration building and library, modern classrooms, separate specialist and innovation buildings, a competition-grade gym, spaces to cater for food technology, music and performing arts, a football oval, and outdoor sports courts.

The new campus will be located on Potters Hill Road in San Remo with SJ Higgins appointed as the builder.

The campus will open in 2022 and adds to the two existing campuses, including the new McKenzie Street senior campus that opened in 2020.

Community consultation to rename Wonthaggi Secondary College also opened last week, with members of the public able to have their say on a new name that reflects the school’s unique identity, inspires local pride, and makes the school easily locatable across its three campuses.

Discussions with the local community will also continue throughout the year on the names of the three campuses.

Members of the local community are invited to have their say on the school’s new name over the next three weeks by visiting the Engage Victoria website: engage.vic.gov.au/school-naming-wonthaggi-secondary-college.

In the 2019-20 state budget, the school shared in $624.8 million allocated for new schools to plan and build the new campus at San Remo.

In 2020, the school received a further $5 million in funding. In the 2020-21 state budget, the school received at least $25.76 million.

Mr Merlino said: “We said we would build a junior secondary campus of this school so students right across Phillip Island and the Bass Coast could have a school that is close to home and that is exactly what we will deliver.”

Ms Crugnale added: “Today marks the next step in delivering on our commitment to build a new school in the Bass Coast, delivering the modern learning facilities students deserve.”