THE Education Department plans to take classrooms from two West Wimmera P-12 schools and move them to schools in Melbourne.
The department has told both Kaniva College and Goroke P-12 College that transportable buildings will be removed in term four and given to ‘growth areas’ closer to the city.
Kaniva College school council president Gary Mills said one building containing two classrooms would be removed from the school.
He said the news came as a shock.
“We are very disappointed because we thought the building was ours to keep,” he said.
Mr Mills said the department allotted the building to Kaniva when the school was upgraded a few years ago.
“Since then, we have spent a significant amount of money on it,” he said.
He said the school would now have to find alternative places for those classes.
“It will take some rearranging of the junior school,” he said.
The school is trying to get more information about the issue.
“At this stage we are not trying to go too hard until we have more information,” he said.
“We don’t want to burn any bridges.”
West Wimmera Mayor Ron Hawkins said the issue could cause degradation of school services.
“It will cause different problems at each school,” he said.
“If the department starts to attack one part of a school, it has an effect on another part of the school.
“At Goroke, the buildings in question are an integrated part of the school, with other buildings built around them.
“Council is very concerned.”
Cr Hawkins said council felt for the two schools, and would offer the services of its building inspector to help the schools argue their case.
Cr Bruce Meyer said council would support the endeavours of Kaniva and Goroke schools to retain their transportable buildings.
Cr Richard Wait said the set-up at Kaniva College was fantastic.
“It will be really tough on the school if they have the building taken from them,” he said.
“It is not going to be an easy fix.”