MEMBER for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford has been "dancing around the room" since her phone call to Warracknabeal's Karly Kirk on Sunday night.
The phone call confirmed what the community had been waiting years for: the state government was granting $19.8 million to complete the much-wanted Warracknabeal Education Precinct.
The precinct will combine Warracknabeal Secondary College, Warracknabeal Primary School and Warracknabeal Special Development School on one site in modern buildings.
The funding is part of a $2.7 billion Building Works package to fund shovel-ready projects to help keep thousands of people back to work across the state and kickstart the economy.
Ms Pulford said she had developed a strong connection with the Warracknabeal schools community during its fight for funding.
She met with community members, Education Minister James Merlino and Western Victoria MP Stuart Grimley in February and visited the town in October.
Ms Pulford said she could feel the community's desire to see the project finished during their meetings.
"This anticipation of a new school was so tantalisingly close," she said.
Ms Pulford said like the community, she was keen to see money to complete the precinct in the 2020-21 May state budget.
After the budget was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Pulford leapt at the chance for funding to be included in the Building Works package.
"The opportunity presented itself to do something massive that will create thousands of jobs and do so quickly," she said.
Normally for funding announcements like this, politicians would head to the relevant town to celebrate with its community.
Because of coronavirus, Ms Pulford was unable to do that this time.
"I am diligently abiding by the instruction 'if you can work from home, you should'," she said.
"The thing I love most about being a politician is working collaboratively with a community on their issue and things that matter to them.
"I would have dearly loved to be in Hamilton, Miners Rest and Warracknabeal to see everyone.
"Karly was my first call."
Ms Pulford said every project funded through the package could be started in weeks or a few months.
She said the Victorian School Building Authority would contact the three schools and the project would go to tender.
"That will all be done as quickly as possible," she said.
She said the project would aim to use Wimmera materials and people where possible to support the community and ensure a quick turnaround.
The Warracknabeal Education Precinct is set for completion in 2022.
Ms Pulford said like all school projects the works would be done with an aim to minimise disruption to learning.
"I'm just so excited for the community," she said. "They've been incredibly effective advocates.
"If I was a parent in Warracknabeal I'd be feeling pretty excited."
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy was thrilled with Monday's announcement.
"I congratulate and celebrate with the community, particularly those at the forefront of the campaign to finish this hugely important project," she said.
"To everyone involved with the Finish What You Started campaign, teachers, parents, students and the wider community who never gave up - this achievement is testament to your dedication."
Ms Kealy said the new precinct would provide modern, fit-for-purpose and engaging school spaces.
Features of the new buildings include a gallery, art space and sensory area in the special development school; a manual activities building for senior secondary college students; and a central administration area, gym and function room for the three schools.
"This project is one of the biggest rebuilds ever undertaken in our electorate, and its importance cannot be overstated," Ms Kealy said.
"Every student, whether they live in the country or the city, deserves the opportunity to learn in a first-class environment. The new Warracknabeal Education Precinct will ensure this, while also helping to attract new families to the town to help the community continue to grow and prosper."