Horsham College tour: Martin Dixon returns

EDUCATION Minister Martin Dixon and Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty will tour Horsham College on Wednesday.

The tour will follow the official opening of Horsham Special School, the reason for Mr Dixon’s visit.

School council president Rowan Smith said he hoped the tour would reiterate the need for a $20-million rebuild.

The school has missed out on funding in the past three budgets.

“It will be another opportunity to re-establish our situation and the environment our students and teachers are working in, and still achieving great results,” he said.

Mr Smith said the tour would feature some of the college’s major programs such as Hands on Learning, the Koori Education Centre and the associated Wimmera Trade Training Centre.

Mr Dixon and Mr Delahunty will also visit the middle school, to see the year seven iPad program and hear about the year nine students’ community projects.

“As we walk through the school, we will be walking through the wing that had emergency repairs done late last year,” Mr Smith said.

“So Mr Dixon will invariably see the situation of the buildings.”

Structural engineers made urgent repairs in November to prevent ceilings from collapsing.

Builders braced the ceilings of 14 classrooms, offices and corridors in the dilapidated H and M wings.

Mr Smith said he was confident Mr Dixon would be well aware of the college’s infrastructure challenges.

Mr Dixon received a Horsham College and Horsham Rural City Council delegation in Melbourne on December 11.

Mr Delahunty supported the delegation.

They briefed Mr Dixon and lobbied for the Department of Education to reassess the condition of the H and M wings on the middle school campus.

Horsham College has also applied for up to $170,000 so the H and M wings will be included in the first stage of redevelopment. 

The money would be spent developing documentation.

Mr Delahunty said he was unsure what Mr Dixon had planned for his tour of the college, aside from meeting new acting principal Graeme Holmes and students.

He was confident Mr Dixon would be warmly welcomed at Horsham Special School, which the minister would officially open at 9am.

Horsham Special School principal Matt Copping said the award-winning building had enabled the school’s curriculum to flourish.

The school was built with a $7-million grant in the 2011-12 state budget.

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