Work is almost done on Cairns State High’s new $12 million Centennial Hall: Sports and Arts complex that will commemorate an Indigenous elder from more than 100 years ago.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today inspected the complex with Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Member for Cairns Michael Healy.
The complex is to be called Bou-wa – the Centennial Hall, named after a Yidinji elder at the time the school was established in 1917.
“It’s great to return to the Far North and see the result of the funding commitment I made here three years ago at Cairns State High’s centenary celebrations,” the Premier said.
“My government is deeply committed to providing world-class education to Queensland families, no matter where they live.
“Our infrastructure spend in 2020-21 of $1.9 billion is also an investment in almost 4800 jobs for local tradies as we unite and recover from the impact of the pandemic.”
The Premier said she was pleased to see the school community publicly celebrating the living culture of the Yidinji peoples in the complex’s name, which will extend to include other buildings on site over the coming 12 months.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the complex’s planning and design has included local Yidinji elders and students.
“Importantly, this project has also supported up to 36 important jobs for local tradies, and 12 apprentices,” he said.
“Cairns State High School has and continues to play a major role in our communities’ development and has supported many thousands of students from all around our region, including the Cape, over more than a century.”
Tradies are working hard to complete the flooring, signage and landscaping around the three-court complex, which major contractor Hutchinson Builders expect to be completed by the end of next month (February).
As well as the three multi-purpose sports courts for basketball, netball and volleyball, Bou-wa can also be used as a performance and auditorium space for the school and will be a useful asset for the community.
Executive Principal Chris Zilm said the Cairns State High community welcomed the new facilities which will support the school’s focus on wellbeing as well as the existing centres of excellence in basketball, music, dance, drama and visual arts.
“Our students, staff and wider school community will all benefit from these new, modern facilities,” Mr Zilm said.
“The name of the new complex reflects our school’s respect for our First Nations peoples and the land which we walk on together. It really is a celebration of our diversity and quality educational opportunities in the region.”
The project also included relocating special education facilities into the heart of the school and improvements to the sports oval.