School with a view. Delighted with how the new Bass Coast College San Remo Campus is coming up ahead of the start to the school year next Monday are college principal Darren Parker, Bass MP Jordan Crugnale and campus principal Emma Harris


‘PHENOMENAL, beautiful’ was how Bass MP Jordan Crugnale described the new Bass Coast College San Remo Campus after a sneak peak at the facility last week with college principal Darren Parker and campus principal Emma Harris.

Innovatively designed classrooms, science and technology learning spaces, performing arts and indoor play areas, four outdoor courts and more all wrapped up in a contemporary and environmentally sustainable package – it’s fantastic and it’s ready to go.

“The whole thing, it’s a great facility. I mean you could sit back in class and see whales swimming past,” said the local MP.

Not that she’s advocating daydreaming. As a former teacher, she’s not advocating that.

But you get the point. The location of the new college overlooking Bass Strait, is set to be one of the more spectacularly located state schools in Victoria.

It looks great now, even with landscaping in the early stages but imagine what it’s going to be like as plants get established, and the 460 kids due to turn up on day one, make it their own.

“It’s exciting. We’ll have an official opening with the Education Minister and all that, but it will be just great to see the kids in there at the start of a new school year, in new college.”

The new college is located on Potters Hill Road San Remo as a new junior 9-11 secondary campus for Bass Coast College (formerly Wonthaggi Secondary College) feeding into the senior school at Wonthaggi.

But who knows? The site could eventually host its own 7-12 college.

The school project shared in $624.8 million allocated for new schools in the past two years. In 2020, the school received a further $5 million in funding. In the 2020–21 State Budget, the school received a further $25.76 million.

The school has the following facilities:

* a ‘Welcome and Wellbeing Centre’, which will consist of administration and library spaces and will reflect the importance of holistic student development with strong wellbeing support

* a learning base and innovation neighbourhood consisting of classroom spaces that are innovative and adaptable

* a specialist building where science, technology and design learning will take place in a collaborative setting

* a community and health building, which will consist of a performing arts and physical education area (which includes an indoor play court), and a food technology space and canteen, which can be accessible for local community events

* an oval

* 4 outdoor play courts

During public consultation the community said they wanted to see a school where:

* Participants strongly value the local environment, particularly the coastline as well as parks and natural places. Participants suggested that the design of the campus should be both contemporary and environmentally sustainable.

* The community also values facilities that can accommodate a diverse range of subjects and programs including sports, music, arts, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

What else the community wants for the new school:

* Contemporary and sustainable design

* You want the school to be built to a high standard with a contemporary design that fits into the surrounding natural environment.

* Flexible and collaborative spaces that can also provide quiet areas and outdoor learning areas were a priority.

* It was important that it is an environmentally sustainable design that considers the use of sustainable water and power sources.

It is also important that it is suitable for the local weather conditions and provides appropriate weather protection for classrooms and outdoor shelter areas.

* Building and grounds should fit in with the green natural environment that makes this area so unique

* Bright naturally lit classrooms with access to outdoor spaces. Outdoor areas for students to meet and relax that maximise natural materials

* Very sustainable buildings & grounds, that the layout doesn’t impact on a massive area. Look into zero-dollar utilities bills, zero waste school

* Diverse subjects within the curriculum and the facilities to accommodate this including sporting facilities, arts and music programs, STEM programs and facilities, a well-resourced library and a vegetable garden.

* Good quality teachers to deliver this curriculum is seen as critical to the education of young people in this area.

* Lots of good elective opportunities and facilities for students

* Learning programs that connect to local industries and offer authentic, contextual learning opportunities

* Plan for growth and consider access – the school must be able to accommodate expected growth

* A clear plan on how students will get to and from school and ensure there is safe access and appropriate drop off and pick up spots

* Wellbeing support

* Feeling safe from bullying

* Specialty area for children with different/special needs

* And an on-going connection with the coast, beaches, iconic natural attractions, cultural and indigenous history

And according to Jordan Crugnale, the Victorian School Building Authority, in consultation with the community, has nailed the brief.

See what you think when school returns on Monday, January 31.