After many years in the making, the SEMZ team recently had the pleasure of attending the official opening of Greater Shepparton Secondary College.
We are incredibly proud to have played a part in this project from the early days of feasibility and site selection, through to the completion of this next-level facility that has raised the bar for the Education sector.
The $140m Government investment new school is designed to accommodate up to 2,700 students across three separate neighbourhoods with a full suite of first class facilities. Paying homage to the site’s original Shepparton High School, the refurbished heritage school house has been restored as a hub to interface with external services and support staff.
SEMZ Director, Tom Warne has worked with stakeholders on the Shepparton Education plan project for over 5 years. ‘This has been such a complex and exciting project with so many hurdles along the way. We couldn’t have asked for better project partners to work with to deliver this Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) project. The teams from builder Hansen Yuncken, architect Gray Puksand, VSBA and DET navigated through COVID 19, earning a COVID-19 Gold Standard Accreditation while delivering the full school on a fast tracked timeline for the 2022 school year commencement.’
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews attended the ceremony and spoke of the significance of this project, not just to Shepparton and surrounds, but to regional Victoria.
‘It’s a point of pride for me and my team, and it’s a point of pride for all of those many hundreds of regional communities that we’ve partnered with over the past seven years that big things are happening in regional communities. Big buildings and big events, big projects and bold ambition is now part of regional Victoria, more than it’s ever been….This is not just a big school, this is a big new idea and concept.’
At SEMZ, we’ve successfully delivered numerous education sector projects, and continue to be impressed with the breadth of facilities and the high quality of new school builds and upgrades. The ethos of continuous improvement within the VSBA makes delivering State education projects professionally rewarding. Of these, Greater Shepparton Secondary college stands out as having the most potential to significantly impact learning outcomes for an entire region.
Andrews echoed this observation in addressing the opening event. ‘I’ve visited a lot of schools, I have never seen anything like this outcome. This is unique. So much opportunity, so much prosperity, so much happiness is going to come from this and what we have been able to build here.’
Speaking on site over two years ago, Minister for Education, James Merlino highlighted the pressing need to provide improved education facilities in the Goulbourn Valley region. ‘We are building this brand new school because despite the best efforts of our educators, staff, parents and students, literacy and numeracy outcomes within this region have not been where they should be. They are well below state averages and we fail our current and future students if we just accept that. We have been failing them collectively for a long time.’
Two years on with the school complete and operational, it’s clear to Merlino that Education opportunities for students in Shepparton and surrounds now rival any other regional or metropolitan city in the state. ‘Small school care with big school opportunities. This is the thing that we couldn’t deliver with four individual secondary schools. This year 2022, the first year on this campus, year nines get 54 electives, the whole suite of VCE and vocational opportunities for our students.’
As Project Managers we couldn’t be happier with the result. It’s taken years of hard work collaborating with the dedicated, professional teams from VSBA, Hansen Yuncken, Gray Puksand and the numerous trade partners on site and behind the scenes to achieve this amazing result.
This is more than a school. It’s life changing for students and educators in the Goulbourn Valley region, providing the facilities, subjects and support they need to achieve their full potential.
For the SEMZ team, it’s rewarding to observe the joy of students at the opening event, and immersed in learning on campus. Knowing the impact these facilities will have on this generation and many more to come is hugely fulfilling.