Education Minister Grace Grace has officially opened a $7.04 million learning and music block at Dalby State School, two years after fire destroyed a 156-year-old heritage-listed building.
Ms Grace joined the local Dalby community in today’s special ceremony, highlighting the school and community spirit during the rebuilding process.
“On April 24 2017, a blaze gutted the school’s administration space, staffroom and music hall, while other classrooms were extensively damaged by smoke and water,” Ms Grace said.
“As one of the oldest school buildings in Queensland – built in 1861 – the loss was felt far and wide by the extended Dalby community.
“But, thanks to the quick work of the Department of Education, six temporary buildings were installed within a few weeks and only one school day was lost.
“Construction of the brand-new block finished in January this year, supporting 19 full-time jobs.
“The new block has six classrooms, a music room, an instrumental practice room, a music storage room, an outdoor learning space, a staffroom, a conference room and several offices in the admin section.
“It combines traditional and heritage styles with a modern twist, in recognition of the historical significance of the original building.”
Ms Grace said the school community’s resilience was admirable.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping the school get back on its feet, especially Departmental officers, the school principal, admin staff, business services manager and student leaders at the time,” she said.
“The Dalby community support was also outstanding, with over $144,000 donated to the school by 258 different local sources such as businesses, other schools and families.”
Dalby State School Principal Mona Anau said she was grateful for the community support during the difficult time.
“The Department of Education was magnificent in the way they responded to this tragedy – within 24 hours a temporary admin building plus two temporary classrooms were on site and within a few weeks the school had access to six temporary buildings,” Ms Anau said.
“We were overwhelmed by the support from other schools from around the state and from the Dalby community.”