The future is bright for special kids at Belvoir

PRINCIPAL Jamie Gay was happy to say goodbye yesterday to the 30-year-old Belvoir Special School that was “falling down around our ears”.

Boxes filled the old classrooms in Bowman Court on what was the last day of school before starting term three in a $12 million replacement campus in Gayview Drive, Wodonga.

“It has served us well over the years but we have well and truly outgrown it now,” Mr Gay said.

“It’s falling down around our ears.”

The school first opened in 1983 with just 12 students.

Now enrolments have climbed from 151 to more than 170 in the past year.

The students will be accommodated in 22 new classrooms.

Mr Gay said students were happy to start a new chapter.

“They haven’t stopped talking about the new school,” he said.

Teachers took students on a walk to the new school yesterday.

“They haven’t been allowed inside yet, but we took a picture out the front and showed them the bus stop,” Mr Gay said.

Parents, students, teachers and past students attended the school’s last Bowman Court assembly yesterday afternoon where the man involved in opening the school returned.

Former member for Benambra and then shadow health minister, Lou Lieberman, likened the closing of the school to an Olympic Games ceremony.

“They open it and then there’s a ceremony to close it, but then it’s handed over to the next city to run,” he said.

“So we are not closing the school, but rather transferring it over to a new location where it will continue.”

The students’ first day in the new school will be Tuesday, July 15, while teachers will start a day earlier to set up their classrooms.

Premier Denis Napthine will be invited to perform the official opening at a date to be confirmed.