SKILLS centres valued at more than $3.5 million and featuring commercial kitchens, cafes and workshops are set to be constructed at The Scots School, Albury and Victory Lutheran College in Wodonga.
The federal government is bankrolling the buildings under its trade training centres in schools program, a scheme which might not continue if the Coalition wins power on September 7.
Scots’ principal Heather Norton and her Victory counterpart Cain McDonald said yesterday they did not expect a change of government to threaten the works.
“The project has been committed to before the government went into caretaker mode — they’ve signed and sealed the decision,” Mr McDonald said.
“There’s already an act of Parliament signed off and gone through to make sure the money is there whatever the outcome of the election is.”
The Victory project involves up to $1.5 million for a centre that will include an outdoor cafe, commercial kitchen, construction and furnishing workshop, machinery area and theory rooms.
The Scots project, valued at more than $2 million, is a collaborative effort with Trinity Anglican College under the banner of Albury Independent Schools Trade Training Centre.
A commercial kitchen, with a coffee shop, dining room and classrooms, will be built at The Scots School along with a metal engineering centre, while Trinity will host a building construction centre.
Mr McDonald said Connelly Constructions Services had been appointed to oversee his school’s project with building expected to start next year and be complete for the beginning of lessons in 2015.
Mrs Norton said building designer Rob Pickett had provided preliminary drawings for her project, with building expected to start by year’s end and be finished mid-next year.
Labor Party candidate for Indi Robyn Walsh said trade training centres would continue to built by a Labor government.
“In contrast, Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party have previously said they will cut the trade training centres in schools program if elected on September 7,” Ms Walsh said.
A spokesman for Sophie Mirabella did not respond to The Border Mail’s inquiries, while Sussan Ley’s office referred to a response by Coalition education spokesman Christopher Pyne on the announcement of more funding.
Mr Pyne criticised the lack of trade centres built by Labor, saying the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, had promised one for all 2650 high schools in Australia but only 252 had been built by May.