BOOKWORMS and mad scientists at Sale Primary School have even more to smile about lately, with the addition of a brand new library and science building.
Parliamentary Secretary for Schools Tim Richardson was on hand last Friday to officially open the rooms, much to the delight one of the school’s Foundation classes.
The bright new building includes three conference spaces, a library, information and communications technology store, accessible toilets, a deck and a science room.
Principal Chris Malone was happy to report the building is well used and well loved.
“It’s a fantastic, flexible space – I think it’s something that the community’s really needed,” Mr Malone said.
“The kids – they love it, everyone loves it.
“Every child in the school does science every week, and every child in the school comes to the library to borrow a book every week.”
Library captains Emily Boll, Year 5, and Howie Maple-Irvine, Year 6, were particularly thrilled with their school’s new building.
Emily, who has piles of books at home but has a soft spot for Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham (the first book she ever learned to read), said the new library made her job of putting books away much easier.
“It’s what I enjoy,” she said.
“You can learn more from a book than you can from technology, and it’s a much healthier option.”
Howie also has far too many books to choose from, but if he absolutely had to land on a favourite it would be Star Wars: Legend of Luke Skywalker.
“I like the set-up. Something different to look at – more modern and new,” he said of the new library.
Mr Malone said the inclusion of science rooms was essential for STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
“A large number of our students’ parents work at the RAAF Base and the gas plants, and talking to them about the science and engineering side of things and what students need, science was a no brainer to implement at the school,” he said.
Two of the three conference spaces will be used by speech pathologists and psychologists for one-on-one sessions, or for teachers to withdraw children from classes when needed, and the third has been designated a permanent space for leadership and school council meetings.
“The teachers meet every week for an hour in there in their team groups to plan for their kids,” Mr Malone said.
“We needed that; we’d moved that room around the school each time there was a new room opened up, and I said we just need to commit to having a designated room.”
The information technology store will house the school’s computer technician and electronics, and because of the school’s growth in student numbers, the new toilets were much-needed.
The government contributed $1.3 million for the project, while the school has also stumped up a significant contribution to finish off the building.
The new building was part of the Victorian School Building Authority’s Permanent Modular School Buildings Program, which aims to deliver modern facilities, constructed offsite in modules over short timeframes to minimise disruptions to students and staff.
A former library shelver, Mr Richardson was thrilled to be on hand to help open the facility.
“The new library and science space here is a beautiful upgrade … this is a bright and vibrant space,” Mr Richardson said.
“To see the preppies today so excited, up and about and selecting their books … they [the previous buildings] were old asbestos-impacted facilities that just weren’t fit for purpose.
“We don’t want second class facilities hampering the first class education right here at Sale Primary School.”
Work is not yet over at the school. Refurbishments of the historic Newry Primary School building onsite – currently used as a music room, with Defence Force transition and chaplain offices – began on Saturday.
The works include replacing the original, damaged weatherboards and gutters, sealing the ceilings to prevent possums and a lick of paint.