Construction on the State Government’s flagship Karratha Education Precinct is well under way, Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan said today.
Mr McGowan said the $103.5million project was the most significant public school capital works development ever undertaken in Western Australia.
The project includes a new senior school to open in 2009 and recently announced middle school to open in 2011 to replace Karratha Senior High School, plus a new school to replace the ageing Karratha Primary School.
“Construction is in full swing on stage one to build the $31.5million senior school for Year 10, 11 and 12 students at the Pilbara TAFE site in Dampier Road, Karratha,” the Minister said.
“Steel frames are in place and roofs have been erected on the new client services building and the resources building. Concrete slabs have been poured and steel frames erected for the main teaching block.
“The senior school is on track for completion by early 2009 and will be an outstanding education facility for Karratha secondary students.
“This is all about giving something back to the Pilbara by way of building one of the best education facilities in the country.”
The senior school will have six learning areas, three information technology laboratories, two science and engineering laboratories, a performing arts area, fitness and media centre, resource area, administration offices, toilet facilities and a range of other features.
It was designed by James Christou and Partners Architects and is being built by Cooper and Oxley.
North-West Coastal MLA Fred Riebeling said the new education and training super site was a fantastic boon for the region.
Mr Riebeling said an architect would be appointed shortly to design the new $46million middle school, which was announced in the 2008-09 State Budget.
“The new middle school for Years Eight and Nine students will also be built on the Dampier Road site and will be an integral part of the Karratha Education Precinct alongside the senior school and Pilbara TAFE,” he said.
“The middle school will feature a lower school library, two teaching blocks with classrooms, staff areas, activity areas, multi-purpose laboratories and toilets, as well as an education support classroom, specialised studios for metals, food, textiles, visual arts and science, and physical education facilities.
“The Karratha Education Precinct will herald a new generation in schooling for local students and give them the opportunity to build a solid foundation for their future careers.
“The precinct will provide students with a seamless education, which will enable students to more easily access skills training.”
Mr McGowan said the State Government would also spend $26million to build a new state-of-the-art school to replace the ageing Karratha Primary School.
“Arrangements are being made to appoint an architect to design the new school and investigate the possibility of retaining some of the existing facilities at the site,” he said.
Mr McGowan said with these major works in the pipeline, the future had never looked brighter for Karratha students.
“It is a critical time for this Government to invest in educational infrastructure for our booming North West region which is powering the State and national economy - and these are key projects,” he said.
The Minister said the State Government was spending $1.41billion over four years on school infrastructure projects across WA.
“We are spending $1.1billion on new schools and upgrades to existing schools, with $300million on school maintenance and have built, planned and announced 65 new schools since coming to Government in 2001,” he said.
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