YEARS of campaigning by students and the community in Hopetoun has started to pay off.
The state government government is committing $1.059 million to Hopetoun P-12 college so it can plan for upgrades to the school.
Principal Graeme Holmes, formerly of Horsham College, said the school had been pressing to upgrade its science and food technology rooms for the past two years. State politicians have also pressed the school's case.
"For the rest of this term, we have to work out the education rationale around how we want to work and teach with our students," he said.
"Next year we will employ architects and they will work with us around which areas of the school need to be improved. We anticipate the science and food technology rooms will be part of the upgrade, but it might also mean changing the corridor structure."
Mr Holmes said 82 students had enrolled at the school in 2020, with fewer expected to next year. He the timing of the funding announcement was important as the coronavirus pandemic continued.
"For us, it's an acknowledgement by the government of the huge amount of work the school council and students have done to upgrade the facilities and grounds," he said.
"The funding has come at exactly the right time: it's a morale booster for the school and the community, and it will bring resources and people into town to build in the next 12 to 18 months.
"The kids have come back from remote learning extremely well, and they are happy to be back and so are the staff."
"The pandemic hasn't made a difference (to what the school wants to see upgraded), it has really just reinforced that we need to have the right technology, and that our spaces are laid out well to use technology. One of the issues we had during remote learning was that our bandwidth was too small."
Government Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp visited the school on Tuesday to announce the funding. He said Hopetoun P-12 was one of one of 33 schools given the green light to start planning for upgrades and new builds in the latest round of the Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund.
"Developing detailed designs now will mean these projects will be shovel-ready once capital funding is allocated in a future State Budget," he said in a statement.
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