THE State Government might have turned its back on Apollo Bay’s school but the school community is pressing on with plans for redevelopment.
The school council says it is putting its money where its mouth is, by installing a $40,000 playground at the existing Apollo Bay P-12 College while waiting for work on a college upgrade to begin.
And while the new playground might be on the site of the existing college, its design ensures the playground will fit in if redevelopment work on the college goes ahead.
Apollo Bay P-12 College was due to receive $6 million for redevelopment in this year’s State Budget but the State Government reneged on a pledge for the money, leaving Apollo Bay wondering when work on its decaying school will begin.
College council president John Tallis said the council wanted to show it had faith in the school and the community by spending the $40,000 required for the playground.
“We raised the money by February this year, and put it on hold, and thought the announcement is pending in May, and then of course we didn’t get the redevelopment money,” Mr Tallis said.
“From our perspective it sends a good message, we’ve put our money where our mouth is, we believe in the school, and it’s about time the State Government did the same,” he said.
Mr Tallis said the council installed the playground ready for Prep, Grade One and Grade Two pupils to start using this term.
“We felt that we couldn’t let the community down, we felt we had to go ahead with it,” he said.
“It’s probably the largest fundraising effort the town has done for quite some time.
“It’s an indictment of the support the school has got.”
Mr Tallis said the council had to fit the playground into the new school’s designs, in the grounds of the old school.
“We had to lower the playground height, essentially
created a swimming pool,” he said.
“We had to build a full-on retaining wall and fill it up with crushed rock.”
The Member for Polwarth Terry Mulder committed the State Government to rebuilding the school in its first term of government.