The structural steelwork required to build the new $100 million school in Whyalla will be sourced locally from the Whyalla Steel Mill, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
Up to $3.5 million will be injected into the local industry for the supply and installation of 650 tonnes of steel that will form the structure of the new school.
Concept designs for the school were released in October and promise to deliver modern, state-of-the-art school infrastructure catering to 1500 local students in Years 7 to 12.
Designed by Cox Architecture, in collaboration with Thomson Rossi, the new build will maximise the amount of Whyalla steel that can be used on this project.
The school will replace Edward John Eyre, Stuart and Whyalla high schools. Construction is anticipated to commence in early to mid-2020, with the school opening in 2022.
Education Minister John Gardner said the announcement was a significant boost for the local economy that will support jobs.
“This major project will deliver contemporary school infrastructure to South Australian students, create jobs in the local Whyalla community and contribute to South Australia’s economic growth,” said Minister Gardner.
“This new school will be an iconic landmark for the community, with a design that we hope will set the agenda for what learning in a regional school can look like in the future.
“It will give secondary students in Whyalla the opportunity to learn skills in advanced technology and study in areas that have strong links to the local industry.”
Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan, who made the announcement in Whyalla, said the investment was a significant boost to the local economy.
“This announcement is another significant investment into Whyalla, creating jobs and benefiting the local community and economy,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.
“We have confidence in the future of Whyalla and we are supporting the region by investing in the local industry, and delivering the best possible school for local students.”
Liberty Primary Steel Executive Managing Director Jason Schell welcomed the news that the local Whyalla steelworks would be producing the structural steel for the project.
“This is fantastic news not only for our operations, but also for our employees who will know they’re contributing to such an important part of Whyalla’s future,” said Mr Schell.
“There will also be further synergies between our operations and the school, as we hope to leverage the facilities for elements of our GFG Foundation program.
“Orders such as this are vital for sustaining our existing operations and workforce, so it’s very encouraging that the State Government is choosing our product and supporting local business.”
Mr Schell said it was vital that the community transformed along with the steel and mining operations over the coming years, and that this was a great step towards that transformation.
“We’re extremely proud to be playing a key role in the community’s development,” he said.
“We believe our employees’ children that attend the school will also be proud, knowing that their parents helped make all of the structural steel for the facility.”
The design team has collaborated with representatives of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation, the native title holders and traditional owners of land across Whyalla, the Eyre Peninsula and the Spencer Gulf, on cultural elements that may be incorporated into the school design to acknowledge and respect the history and culture of the Barngarla people.