July 19, 2020
Work is expected to begin in October – or maybe even a bit sooner – on a stunning $12.65 million construction program at Murgon State High School.
The project will create:
- A $6.6 million hall which will feature a stage, lighting and sound, storage for props and costumes, back-of-house facilities, dressing rooms and amenities, as well as a multi-purpose sports court.
- A $5.5 million administration building which will create a new Gore Street entrance to the school. As well as provide space for offices, the building will also include parent meeting spaces, a student sickbay and a covered walkway linking the admin building to the rest of school. There will also be visitor waiting areas, offices for visiting specialists, a staff room and an outdoor staff area.
- A $550,000 refurbishment of the current administration building, which faces Dutton Street East. This will be turned into a “student wellbeing hub” to house a guidance officer and youth support co-ordinator and provide space for additional student supports.
Principal Simon Cotton showed southburnett.com.au around the development sites last week.
Mr Cotton said it would be a very significant project for the school as well as the Murgon community as a whole – and acknowledged Education Minister Grace Grace’s support in making it a reality.
He said Murgon State High School was already a great school with fantastic facilities – for example, all classrooms are air-conditioned – but this was a significant investment that would make things even better.
The school would be juggling two major constructions at the same time, but the effort would be well and truly worth it for the 400 students currently enrolled.
The admin building will be constructed on two of the tennis courts which currently face Gore Street.
As well as the office spaces and a new visitors’ entrance, off-street parking for five cars will be created and an ambulance turnaround area.
The multi-purpose hall will be constructed on open land beside the Trade Training Centre. The current basketball courts will be replaced by facilities in the new indoor space but the cricket training nets will simply be turned around.
Mr Cotton said as well as providing a space for school performances and assemblies, he hoped the new hall could attract use by the wider community, eg. to host visiting musicians or theatrical performances. It would also be available for hire.
“I would love to see us as a community host visits by performers such as the Queensland Youth Orchestra,” he said.
As well as basketball and netball, the indoor sporting facilities could also be used for indoor cricket or futsal. Mr Cottton hopes local competitions might be encouraged to start.
Mr Cotton said the school had also been working with South Burnett Regional Council to relocate the pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Dutton Street East and Gore Street to further down Dutton Street to align with the current school entrance. This will remain the main student entrance.
He said 23 tenderers had so far expressed interest in the construction projects, and they had been briefed to use local businesses wherever possible.
Mr Cotton said he hoped the Administration Building would be ready to open in Term 2 next year, and the Hall in Term 3.
An Education Queensland spokesperson said early planning and design work was under way.
The funding is being delivered through the State Government’s $235 million Renewing Our Schools program.
The spokesperson said construction was estimated to support up to 38 full-time jobs.
- Related article: MP Wants New Hall At Murgon High