Building for the future

 24 April 2013

While students and staff are on school holidays, the State's schools have been turned into construction sites with upgrades and minor works occurring at 129 public schools, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said today.

Mr O'Farrell and Mr Piccoli today inspected construction work at Hurstville Public School in Sydney's south along with Oatley MP Mark Coure, where $6.8 million is being invested in upgrades including the construction of 11 new classrooms.

"The education capital works program is part of the NSW Government's record $61.8 billion infrastructure program which is building for the future," Mr O'Farrell said.

"We are getting on with the job of providing state-of-the-art school buildings for our students and teachers," he said.

"It is fitting I am inspecting work at one of the State's public schools, a day after the NSW Government agreed to the Gonski national education reforms.

"These reforms secured $5 billion in additional funding for the State's schools and will help us to deliver a world-class education system in NSW by improving literacy and numeracy, empowering principals and school communities to make local decisions and raising teaching quality.

"Since coming to office the NSW Government has been reforming the State's education system – including a major program of capital works in our schools as well as hiring an additional 520 teachers."

Mr Piccoli said there are six major works projects in Sydney continuing during these holidays - the new George Bass School for Specific Purposes and Oran Park Public School, as well as major upgrades at Cabramatta High School, Clarke Road School for Specific Purposes, Killara High School and Hurstville Public School.

"There are three major works projects currently underway in regional NSW - Gosford Public School and major upgrades at Kyogle High School and Ulladulla High School," Mr Piccoli said.

"There are also 107 minor works projects, such as canteen, electrical, toilet and roof upgrades at schools across the State.

"A program to upgrade schools for specific purposes is also continuing over the holiday period. This program is upgrading facilities at 19 schools using residual BER funds.

"The previous NSW Labor Government shamefully neglected our schools through years of waste and mismanagement.

"It is important that our existing school buildings are maintained and refurbished so all students can learn in the best facilities possible.

"School holiday periods are optimal times for these major classroom upgrades to occur, with students and staff not on school grounds.

"These school upgrades taking place across NSW also provide an enormous boost to local economies, with hundreds of tradespeople employed to carry out the works.

"The Liberal & Nationals Government is committed to providing the best possible learning environments for students in all our schools."

Mr Coure said the upgrade at Hurstville Public was welcomed by the school community.

"These new classrooms will ensure Hurstville Public continues to offer a world class education to local students," Mr Coure said.


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