A new state high school is to be built in Ipswich as part of a $134.1 million transformation of the area's education announced by the Queensland Government.
The new state-of-the-art secondary school, which will replace Bremer State High School on a new site and have close links to the University of Queensland Ipswich Campus, is the centrepiece of the Government's plans for the area.
Eastern Ipswich is one of the first areas to benefit from the $850 million State Schools of Tomorrow initiative, which is enabling Queensland communities to help plan the future of education at a local level.
As well as building a new secondary school, four established local state schools will be renewed to the standards of our newest schools. Bundamba State Secondary College and three primary schools - Riverview, Bundamba and Silkstone State Schools - would be renewed under the $134.1 million initiative. The nearby Blackstone and Dinmore State Schools will be closed at the end of the 2009 school year.
The new Bremer State High School is planned for completion late in 2010 with the school moving to the new facility for the start of the 2011 school year. The new school site adjoins the University of Queensland Ipswich campus.
This project involved inviting the community to consider what they thought schools should look like and what facilities they should have, as well as which schools were most sustainable.
The three primary schools being renewed are close to Dinmore and Blackstone schools and will be easily able to accommodate their students in far superior facilities, offering young people better educational opportunities.
These schools will be transformed with new or remodelled buildings and attractive undercover play and assembly areas that will encourage performing arts among students.
Inside will be bigger classrooms and practical learning areas to take advantage of modern teaching methods and support new curriculum opportunities for students in such areas as science, technology, engineering and maths.
The Eastern Ipswich community pressed for facilities which support student engagement so "learning for life centres" which foster life skills and learning for primary school children will be included at each renewed primary school. They will be part of a multi-functional area with facilities such as a kitchen and laundry, and will be used both for teaching and activities such as breakfast clubs.
Another facility to be provided - to be shared among all cluster schools - is an inter-agency support centre. This will co-locate a range of support services at a single site providing more convenience for parents and students from the cluster schools."
The community also wanted a leadership development centre to be established that could be accessed by cluster schools. It is planned to locate this at Bundamba State Secondary College and it will be based on the successful centre at Brisbane's The Gap State High School.
State Schools of Tomorrow promotes community partnerships and is encouraging schools to become genuine community resources and to share facilities with the local community.
All renewed school facilities will be designed to meet the requirement for greater sustainability and efficiency in the use of land, water and resources.
All funds anticipated from the sale of vacated school sites have been included in the project budget.
The State Government will also be assessing options for viable community use of the Blackstone State School site over the next few months.