Growing Darling Downs high schools welcome new facilities

Two state-of-the-art classroom blocks worth a combined $25 million have officially opened at Darling Downs high schools.

Education Minister Grace Grace opened a new $10 million learning centre at Laidley State High School and a $15.4 million learning centre and admin block at Harristown State High School.

“These two buildings are making a world of difference to the students and staff at these regional schools,” Ms Grace said.

“They are fitted with top-of-the-range resources and equipment, with Laidley’s building able to cater for 250 students and Harristown’s building able to accommodate 550 students.

“These projects have supported close to 80 full-time jobs combined and have been delivered under the Palaszczuk Government’s $430 million 2020 Ready Program.

“We are committed to ensuring all students, no matter where they live, are provided with a world-class education.”

Ms Grace said the two projects were the tip of the iceberg when it came to investment in state school infrastructure across the region.

“More than $150 million has been invested in infrastructure across Darling Downs state schools over the last five years,” she said.

“The Government has invested $41 million in four 2020 Ready projects across the Darling Downs which include Harristown, Laidley, Centenary Heights State High ($11.5 million performing arts centre) and Lowood State High School ($4.1 million manual arts building).

“A new $12 million performing arts centre at Toowoomba State High School is also shovel ready.

“At Wyreema State School, we’re investing $7 million on a new building to cater for the rapid growth.”

Ms Grace said Laidley State High School’s two-storey building offered something for all students.

“The Trade Precinct includes engineering, building and smart design classrooms, as well as an extension to the existing Manual Arts Block and science centre,” she said.

“The Creative Arts Precinct includes music and instrumental music rooms, hospitality, dance, film and television rooms and a green room.”

Laidley State High School Principal Michael Clarkson welcomed the new facilities.

“This development, that has delivered modern, contemporary style facilities and a wide range of up-to-date resources, provides our students with outstanding educational opportunities,” Mr Clarkson said.

“We are a growing school with enrolments this year of more than 800 students – this new building, plus the building extensions, will help us meet the needs of our diverse and growing student group.”

Ms Grace said the Harristown State High project was welcomed with open arms by all students and staff.

“This impressive multi-storey building includes 17 learning spaces, two flexible learning spaces, two training kitchens, and a dedicated administrative and executive services centre,” she said.

“The project also included the conversion of a learning space into a science lab, a science demo room into a science lab and a learning space into a visual arts studio.”

Executive Principal Ken Green said the new centre had given the school a boost.

“This impressive new building will help Harristown State High School deliver on our vision of ‘Every Student Succeeding’ and ‘Engage, Achieve, Excel’,” Mr Green said.

“This is a major investment by the State Government and we are both grateful and excited to have benefited from this funding.”

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