Murrumbateman’s long-awaited $20 million primary school, designed to accommodate up to 377 students, is on track to open for Term 1 next year.
Work is progressing well on the site, located on the Barton Highway in the centre of the village, with the NSW Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell, visiting the site last Wednesday with Member for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman.
The first sod was turned on the 1.5-ha site in March this year.
Another special guest on site for the progress report visit this week was Yass Valley councillor Mike Reid who, more than a decade ago, flagged the need for a school in the small village between Canberra and Yass.
Working with the Yass Progress Association at the time, Mr Reid successfully lobbied the Yass Council for a grant of $1000 for a survey to determine the need for a school there.
That survey went to the Department of Education; the rest is history.
“It blew me away when I saw the progress they’ve already made there,” Mr Reid said of his visit this week.
“It felt like I was gate-crashing my own party.”
Mr Reid said although the site was busy with cranes, tradies and blocks of pre-built frameworks everywhere, it was clear rapid progress had been made.
“We went inside and I thought it would just be a big shell of a place, but you could see where everything was or was going to go. It was amazing.
“I looked at it about two weeks ago and there was hardly anything there.”
Mr Reid said there was little doubt the school would be a boon for the local community.
“I’ve lived in Murrumbateman for 40 years and my kids are grown up now, but when they were younger, they had to go to Canberra schools because there was nothing here,” he said.
“When children move away from their community, they lose the bond with where they live – that’s why I thought it was so important to have a school here.”
Mr Reid said the mood of workers on the site was positive, so much so that he was told the school’s administrative staff should be able to move in by November this year, prior to the official school start date in January.
He said Liz Beasley, who had been principal of public schools in Orange for the past 10 years, would take the helm at Murrumbateman. She was also on site on Wednesday to check out the progress and visits the village regularly to speak to locals. It is understood a Parents & Citizens Association has already been established for the school.
“Liz told me she has even worked out what the school colours will be,” Mr Reid said. When asked if he could tell Region Media, Mr Reid laughed and said no, because he was colour blind.
Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the Murrumbateman Primary School would deliver the required new facilities to meet the community’s growing needs, including flexible learning spaces, a library, hall, canteen, special education learning unit and a covered outdoor learning area.
“I share the community’s anticipation about the new primary school for our region and I’m so pleased to see the progress on the project,” she said.
“I’m proud we are delivering the new Murrumbateman Public School to support families in the area and I look forward to when we can welcome local students to their new school.”
Over the next few weeks, more building modules will be delivered as other work continues on site including roofing, internal fitouts and the creation of play areas, landscaping and walkways.
Keep up to date with building progress of the new Murrumbateman school on the NSW Department of Education’s website.
Original Article published by Sally Hopman on About Regional.