2020 vision for school on track

THE high school planned for Hammond Park remains on track to open in 2020, despite its absence from this month’s State Budget.

Twelve months ago, $500,000 had been pencilled into the 2016-17 forward estimates by the State Government.

A further $5 million was tentatively allocated for 2017-18, with an additional $30 million in 2018-19 for a school estimated to cost $55 million.

But the State Budget, handed down on May 12, made no mention of the high school, despite Education Minister Peter Collier announcing a record spend of $4.84 billion in the coming 12 months for primary and secondary education.

A total of $300 million of that will be used to build new schools and improve existing ones.

Mr Collier has since clarified that the school – to be built on Barfield Road – would open in 2020. “This school is being delivered under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) so is not identified in the Asset Investment Program in the budget papers,” he said.

The State Government announced in late 2014 that four public primary school and four public secondary schools would be built and maintained under the state’s first PPP for schools.

Under the partnership, a private company will design and build the schools, then maintain them for 25 years. The State Government will still own the schools and the Department of Education will continue to run them.

Hammond Park will open in two stages.

Stage one will accommodate 725 Year 7 students, with stage two to open in 2023.

“It was always the plan that the new school will open with Year 7 students in its first year,” Mr Collier said.

“This is the usual way we open new secondary schools.”

Mr Collier said stage two master planning had finished.

The school will be big enough to accommodate 1450 students when finished.