State Minister for Education and Deputy Premier, James Merlino, today visited the refurbished Alexander Wing including the new library, classrooms, breakout study spaces, VCAL kitchen and offices that have transformed the building originally opened in 1967.
Architect, Matt Dwyer, saw the potential despite the initial review of dreary long corridors and cold surfaces.
“The refurbishment has probably added at least 25 years to the building and has been a sustainability process,” he said. “We’ve taken the best view in Bendigo and given it to the whole college community.”
His description was echoed by both Principal, Dale Pearce and Student Council President, Whitney Eadon, who commented on how fabulous the light and the view are—in fact it’s almost impossible to find a place where there is not a great view from this building!
The refurbishment and the creation of the Business Studies Centre, where the library was formerly located, cost $6.2 million and these projects are part of a state-wide infrastructure program that has, or will, build 70 new schools and complete 1300 upgrades.
Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, and Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, joined Mr Merlino on his tour of the new facilities where he also announced the ‘Headstart’ program in which BSSC will participate from 2019.
“Headstart is a pathway to jobs that gives students the option to stay at school for a Year 13 and leave VCE or VCAL with both their Year 12 results and a trade certificate in hand,” Mr Merlino explained. “They spend 100 days at school and then 200 days on the job.
“As the biggest provider of VCE, VCAL and VET in Victoria, BSSC is ideally positioned to deliver this program.”
The future is also looking bright with regard to infrastructure projects. Earmarked for redevelopment are the site where the portables presently sit, the heritage-listed Maths wing/G Block, and the Multi-Media Centre. Meanwhile, the landscaping around the Alexander Wing continues to create gardens and engaging and useful outdoor areas.