By Kath Gannaway
Yarra Junction Primary School captain, Baylin, was happy at the end of a shovel last week to be signalling the start of construction on new Grade 5/6 classrooms.
Baylin and co-captain Ashah, school council president Brian Westlake and principal Laurie Martin, joined Labor Upper House MP, Jaclyn Symes, to turn the first sod on the long-awaited $2million upgrade of the school on Friday, 10 February.
Work is underway on a major refurbishment of the administration area, but it is the purpose-built Grade 5 and 6 classrooms on which work is about to start that will provide future students with a quality work environment.
Baylin told the Mail in 2015 after the $2million budget announcement that he would be happy to see the end of the ‘stinky, hot, annoying’ portables, and while he won’t actually get to study in the new classrooms, he said he was excited to see the work begin.
“It’s going to be great for the five/six years, instead of being in the old portables,” he said.
“I still have siblings in Grade 2 and 3, so I will be coming back to see how it has changed.”
Addressing final year students, Ms Symes said the new facilities would provide better learning environments for students so they could get the best out of their education.
“I am very excited today to turn the first sod, and see these great works get underway here at Yarra Junction Primary School,” she said.
“This redevelopment will give both students and teachers the facilities they need and deserve.”
A pledge to secure the $2 million upgrade was obtained from both the Labor and Liberal parties in the build-up to the 2014 election following intense lobbying by the school community and decades of neglect.
Mr Westlake said the approaches made in 2014 had been answered.
“With what we are going to end up with here, a revamped administration area, purpose built classrooms, and, if there is enough left over in the budget, a revamped music room, it totally sets the school up for decades to come,” he said.