St Xavier’s Primary School is set for an infrastructure overhaul.
Parkes MP Mark Coulton announced $3.3 million under the Capital Grants Program for the multi-million dollar project on Wednesday. The school will also receive an additional $1.4 million of non-Commonwealth funding.
The project cost is $10-12 million and will see new indoor and outdoor learning areas constructed and the refurbishment of existing classrooms and the staff room.
St Xavier’s principal Jen Honner said Mr Coulton gave her the good news on Wednesday morning.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s so exciting,” she said.
Ms Honner said the project would help the school to move into the 21st century.
“I’ve been at St Xavier’s for a long time and I’ve seen the maintenance program and we’ve done so much in the way we’ve created learning spaces with new furniture and pedagogy changes,” she said.
“We are moving into the future but we’re in these old buildings and they’re not as flexible as we want them to be.”
Ms Honner said the overhaul had been discussed before she became principal four years ago but had been waiting on more funding.
“All good things take lots of time and this is my fourth year so it’s taken until now for that come to fruition,” she said.
“We had to present plans so we’ve been through a long process of working out exactly what sort of design we wanted that would suit the needs of 21st century learners, so we’ve put a lot of work into the application.”
It’s a significant amount of money that can make our dream come true.- Jen Honner, St Xavier's principal
Ms Honner said the school couldn’t push ahead with the project without the federal funding.
“It’s a significant amount of money that can make our dream come true,” she said.
“We’re just really lucky to have a building project.”
Ms Honner said a new block will be built in the school grounds and the original brick building will be “more or less gutted” and the shell refitted.
“I just think it's really exciting,” she said.
“We’ve got lots of new parents at our school who actually went to St Xavier’s. We’re welcoming third and fourth generations of families and for their parents to see such dramatic change is really exciting.”
Mr Coulton said the funding would help to “advance” the school and “ensure our classrooms have the updated facilities that will help students and staff to do well”.
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