Stage two works begin at Upper Yarra Secondary College

Artist impressions of stage two of the works at Upper Yarra Secondary College.

By Renee Wood

Works have started for stage two of Upper Yarra Secondary College’s multi-million dollar redevelopment project.

This phase will see the refurbishment of the Integrated Technology Learning Building, including a new learning landscape with tiered seating and a brand new art studio.

Principal Scott Tully said the refurbishment will support woodwork, ceramics, art and photography classes for all year levels.

“The old building, a lot of the windows were problematic, particularly now the buildings require good ventilation, they’ll all have good windows, they will have great facilities,” he said.

“The technology area is going to be completely redesigned with an art gallery in there as well, it will just be a more functional space where we can consolidate our art and technology together with those subjects going hand in hand.”

There has been slight delays due to the construction shut down but construction will be completed over the summer and students are expected to move into the technology spaces at the start of the 2022 school year.

In term one, work will then begin on building the new art and dark room building also part of the second stage.

Education Minister James Merlino said he looks forward to watching this $4.13 million upgrade take shape.

“These works are part of the Victorian Government’s investment in the Lilydale District and Yarra Valley Education Plan, which aims to provide every secondary student in these communities with the knowledge and capabilities they need to thrive throughout their lives,” he said.

Stage one was completed earlier in the year and the last stage of works is expected to begin next Easter to deliver a new building with six classroomss, toilets and a renovation of the food tech area.

Mr Tully believes the students and community gain confidence and hope for a strong future when they see investment in the school.

“It’s really important to see investment in communities, particularly when the buildings are still the original buildings from 1961,” Mr Tully said.

“Obviously, we look after the buildings, but they are old and tired and to see something nice and new, I think it actually does help to reimagine and give the kids a greater imagination and hope to see things happening.”

The school is currently sitting around 650 students and the last phase of works will see facilities that accommodate up to 800 students.

“That would be a really nice number, it’s still a number where you can know every student. So that’s the long term goal and I think hopefully in the next two years it will be realized when all the stages are done.”