Belvoir’s big move draws near

BELVOIR Special School students are on target to be in their new classrooms for the beginning of term three this year.

A replacement $12 mil-lion school in Gayview Drive, Wodonga, is 70 per cent completed with Zauner Construction confident of meeting the June 13 deadline.

Principal Jamie Gay yesterday visited the project, which is three times the size of its cramped facilities in Bowman Court that have served it since 1983.

School enrolments have climbed to 170 from 151 in the past 12 months with the new school having capacity for 206 students.

They will be accommodated in 18 classrooms contained in three large “pods”.

Four portable classrooms provided as part of the former federal Labor government’s Building Education Revolution funding package will be relocated from Bowman Court.

A multi-purpose room and office area are the closest to being completed and the classrooms, to be connected by covered by walkways, are due to be completed by mid-May.

Dedicated areas for visiting occupational and speech therapists are being created — they previously had to use work from a school staff room.

The four portable classrooms from Bowman Court will arrive in mid-April.

Each classroom “pod” will have external and internal withdrawal areas for students.

A basketball court, sports oval and play areas will also be created and the speed limit on Gayview Drive is expected to be reduced to 40km/h when the school opens.

Mr Gay said the student population had doubled since he became principal and the modern replacement facilities were long overdue.

“We have groups from the school walking down here and having a look from the outside,” he said.

“The kids are really excited about moving here.

“They haven’t been allowed to come in and have a look yet.

“Some staff have been down and seen what sort of space they will have to work in.

“It has been talked about for many years and it is finally about to become a reality.”

Premier Denis Napthine has been invited back to perform the official opening after visiting Wodonga last year to mark the start of the project.

The relocation will ease traffic issues in one of Wodonga’s busiest areas on school days.

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