Huge construction effort sees new schools ready for students
Published Thursday, 19 January, 2023 at 03:36 PM
Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace
Queensland’s four new state schools will be open and ready for students on the first day of Term 1.
Education Minister Grace Grace thanked contractors and their workers for their outstanding efforts in delivering the schools, which represent a combined Palaszczuk Government investment of almost $330 million.
“Ripley Central, South Rock and Woogaroo Creek State Schools, as well as Palmview State Secondary College, will all be ready for students to walk through their gates for the first time on Day 1 2023,” Ms Grace said.
"I would like to thank contractors FKG Group, Hutchinson Builders and ADCO, who have worked through a year of extreme weather, seasonal illness and COVID in the community.
“That’s on top of COVID-related supply chain disruptions and material and workforce constraints.
“There are some works continuing, which is not unusual at schools, but I’m very pleased these schools are ready for hundreds of students to walk through the gates on the first day.
“The Palaszczuk Government continues to deliver on our commitment to build new schools in Queensland’s fastest growing areas, and we couldn’t have done it without the work of our contractors.
“We have now built 25 new schools since coming to government in 2015. In less than 3 years, the LNP closed 6 schools and had another 50 earmarked for closure.
“These schools are supporting good jobs and providing better services for Queenslanders, and in turn supporting the great lifestyle we enjoy in this state.”
Construction of the four schools supported 900 jobs.
FKG Group Project Manager Adam Finn said delivering projects ready to open was exciting and hard-won for everyone involved, with 2022 throwing up challenge after challenge.
“It was a demanding year for the construction industry, but through the unprecedented weather events, industry material and labour shortages and ongoing COVID impacts, FKG was able to work with the Department of Education to deliver a first-rate school,” Mr Finn said.
“Partnering with the department to ensure the needs of the students and teachers could be met on day one saw us safely progress as much of the work as possible.
“Where we couldn’t source materials the department and company worked to find other suppliers, we staged the work so key areas were more easily accessed and could be delivered faster, and together with the department we remained flexible so we could hand over the school in the best shape possible to the new principal for the start of the year.
“We still have a bit to finish off, but this is a job we’re proud of and happy to have delivered for the community.”
Minister Grace said some building work would continue at the schools, but all facilities required to accommodate students’ initial learning needs will be ready for Day 1.
“The Department of Education regularly undertakes construction on operating school sites with no impact on student learning,” Ms Grace said.
“Everything students and staff need to start their learning journey will be ready to go.
“Areas that are still under construction will be securely fenced off and facilities contained to ensure students are safe and secure in their new environment.
“The department is very experienced in the staged delivery of schools, and it is a process that helps students in their transition to the new learning environment and allows the school to grow as enrolments increase.”
Media contact: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237