01 October 2018
Article originally published in the Queensland Times newspaper, 1 October 2018. Written by Ashleigh Howarth.
Two new schools will feature in a multi-million dollar education precinct which will be built at Providence in South Ripley.
The 14.4 hectare site will be transformed into two separate schools, a primary school and a high school, and feature general learning areas, administration centres, lecture theatres, as well as dedicated spaces for performing arts, music, and sport.
The precinct is set to welcome students in 2020. The primary school will cater for 1000 students and the high school will cater for 1500 students. The first intake of students will include children in Prep to Year 6 in the primary school and Years 7 and 8 in the secondary school. New year levels will be added to the secondary school each year as students’ progress.
The confirmation of the opening date by the State Government follows the Department of Housing and Public Works submitting proposed infrastructure designation application materials to Ipswich City Council earlier this year. The department is currently finalising architectural plans for the schools with detailed plans to be released in a few months. Ripley mum Hayley Kellner is one parent who is eagerly anticipating the opening of the new school, with her son Milo set to start prep in 2021.
“We’ve prioritised the family lifestyle … for us to have a school a couple of minutes away is going to be so much easier to coordinate,” Ms Kellner said.
“I really want him to go to the neighbourhood school, and have his friends close by and be proud of that school environment rather than having to travel.
“I think a school does really foster a sense of community. With all the activities a school puts on, it’s a great way for the parents to get know each other as well – it’s not just about the kids.”
Providence project director Michael Khan said the confirmation of the first intake would be cause for celebration among families that now call Providence home.
“The opening of the schools will be a major milestone for Providence and an important step towards our goal of establishing a true master-planned community that caters for the needs of young families.”
It is predicted the region will be home to 120,000 people in the coming years.
Initial civil works are already under way on site ahead of the building construction which is expected to commence later this year.