COLAC’S Sacred Heart Primary School has received a $1.06-million Federal Government grant to redevelop its staff and administration areas to meet the growing school’s needs.
The Catholic primary school has 40 staff and 406 pupils enrolled this year, and principal Jack Lenaghan said enrolments had increased by about 100 in the past decade.
“The money will provide us with important smaller learning areas as the school population grows because with more children at the school, the more children need to see speech pathologists, more children need to go to sick bay, more children need to buy a hat.
“And with more children you have more teachers and you need more toilets and more seats in the staff room.
“Altogether we will have $1.2 million for the project, with the school contributing $140,000 and the government giving us $1.06 million.”
Mr Lenaghan said Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson saw the school’s need for improved facilities first-hand when she visited to announce the $1.06-million boost through the government’s capital grants program.
“I showed Sarah through our existing facilities; our meeting room doubles as our uniform shop and archiving room and there were eight parents in there trying to buy uniforms at the same time,” he said.
“It was the third year we had applied for the money and it’s great we’ve finally been successful.
“I also hope it will be a good injection of money into the community,” Mr Lenaghan said.
“We don’t get any say over which builders do the work but I’m hoping local builders will tender for it and I hope one of them get it; then most of the $1 million goes into the community as well as improving our facilities at the school.”
Ms Henderson congratulated Sacred Heart PS on receiving the grant, saying it was an example of the government investing in the Colac community.
“These funds will ensure students at Sacred Heart have the infrastructure necessary to help them get the most out of their time at school,” Ms Henderson said.
She said the redevelopment plans were “very exciting” for the school community, which heard the positive funding news at the school’s first assembly of the year.
Mr Lenaghan said tenders would close by early July and he hoped construction would start by the end of July or early August.
He said he expected the project to take six to eight months and the school would be enjoying its new facilities during term one next year.
“It’s great but I’m not looking forward to while it’s being built; I think the gym will be turned over to administration for six to eight months.”