$12m boost to improve Yarrawonga college, Wangaratta High

Wangaratta High School principal Heather Sarau has welcomed the funding. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Wangaratta High School principal Heather Sarau has welcomed the funding. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

YARRAWONGA and Wangaratta schools will share in more than $12 million for redevelopment works thanks to the state budget.

Yarrawonga P-12 College will receive $7.6 million for the next stages of its redevelopment, which aims to eventually incorporate its three campuses into one.

Wangaratta High School will receive $4.7 million for stage three of its redevelopment — originally quoted at costing $10.8 million — which will include a new middle school, oval and gym, and some demolition work.

Wangaratta principal Heather Sarau was pleased work could now begin on the next phase, starting with discussions with architects to work out what the first priorities would be.

“New facilities are vital,” she said.

Yarrawonga principal Kim Stewart said she was “ecstatic” with the announcement that would allow them to get on with the first stage of a master plan.

Yarrawonga’s primary and secondary schools merged in 2010.

The college has been run across three separate campuses, with an intention to eventually move all students to new premises in Gilmour Street.

The college has begun building on the site using its own locally raised funds, and Mrs Stewart said the state government grant would allow them to add to that.

“We will be able to develop our prep-4 and 5-8 classes all on the one site, with the 9-12 students over the road,” she said.

“Ideally we will be all on the one site which means much more efficient transitions for students and staff ... and greater cohesiveness as a college.”

Murray Valley MP Tim McCurdy said the projects had been intended for last year’s budget, but hospital services in Nurmurkah took priority.

“Schools are never finished in terms of service and education ... and this is part of continuing that,” he said.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan attended the announcement ahead of the Victorian Nationals ann-ual conference opening at Benalla today.

He will make an announcement at Benalla P-12 College.

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