Page 3228 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015
introductory English centre at Wanniassa Hills Primary School opened. We have invested in major upgrades to learning and teaching environments at Yarralumla, Hughes and Curtin primary schools.
Investment in school infrastructure has a direct benefit to students, the community and the economy. Studies have shown consistently that design, layout and the condition of schools have a direct impact on educational outcomes. Accordingly, we have provided focused funding for infrastructure, asset management and information and communication technology improvements. In addition, the better engaged the students are with their school the less vandalism occurs to those schools. This is why the government has also provided funding for a number of major school infrastructure projects.
Just in terms of vandalism, I note that the issue of fencing has been raised. I know that it does create a conversation across the community. With fencing, we have seen a reduction in the funds spent on vandalism; it is just about half of the cost. Whilst it may cause a conversation and some discord within the community, it has a direct benefit to the school because the dollars need to be spent on educational outcomes and not on responding to vandalism.
A specialist learning centre at Caroline Chisholm school is being constructed to deliver science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to the students in the Tuggeranong school network, but it will also provide professional development to all Canberra public school teachers. The Belconnen High School is being modernised through the construction of a new building and the refurbishment of existing buildings and facilities.
This investment will provide a contemporary learning environment for students and teachers and modern facilities that will be accessible for the local community. The government is investing over $28 million in the construction and operation of a new primary school in north Gungahlin to open in January 2019 and accommodate around 540 students. In addition to these very significant new projects, the government has invested $62.5 million over the last three years to modernise and improve schools in established suburbs under the school infrastructure for the future program.
The works completed in 2014-15 include art room upgrades at Campbell High School, a canteen upgrade and hospitality classroom at Arawang Primary School—I have visited both these upgrades and they are well used and well received by the students and teachers alike—and new disability lifts at Ainslie school and Canberra High School, which provide important access to students. Classroom upgrades and refurbishments at Black Mountain, Cranleigh and Caroline Chisholm improve the school amenity.
This year works planned or underway are an upgrade at Curtin Primary School, stage 1 of upgrade works at the Woden School, a science room upgrade and roof replacement at Melrose high, an upgrade to school administration facilities at Lyneham high and a new building for the learning support unit at Gowrie Primary School. Then there is an extension and upgrade of outdoor learning areas at the Turner