THE sound of shovels striking dirt was music to the ears of Parkhurst Primary School’s principal Lyle Walker as he helped turn the first sod on a $8.57 million learning centre there this morning.

After months of hard work preparing the plans and the grounds for the construction, Mr Walker was joined by Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga to celebrate building company Paynters commencing construction on the new school block last week.

SOD TURN: Parkhurst Primary School's Principal Lyle Walker was helped by Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga and a representative from Paynters to celebrate construction kicking off for the school's new learning centre.
SOD TURN: Parkhurst Primary School's Principal Lyle Walker was helped by Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga and a representative from Paynters to celebrate construction kicking off for the school's new learning centre.

Mr Walker said the school community was excited about the new facilities.

“We’re delighted to have a new teaching block on the way that will offer flexible learning options in brand new, state-of-the-art classrooms,” Mr Walker said.

“This exciting addition to the school’s landscape will further instil a strong sense of optimism and community confidence, while meeting projected future enrolments.”

With the project forecast to be complete by May 10, 2021, Ms Lauga hoped she would be back in time for a special Mother's Day celebration to coincide with the opening of the new teaching block.

“This is an exciting milestone for the Parkhurst State School community, with construction to be finished in term 2, 2021,” Ms Lauga said.

“The new building will include six classrooms on the top floor, a staff collaboration space and an outdoor arts and science learning space.

NEW BUILDING: Designtek has shared artist impressions of Parkhurst Primary School's new learning centre.
NEW BUILDING: Designtek has shared artist impressions of Parkhurst Primary School's new learning centre.

“The ground floor will house a state-of-the-art music centre and a multipurpose learning space for STEAME (Science, Technology, the Arts, Mathematics and the Environment).”

She said there was also room to provide four classrooms to accommodate future growth.

Ms Lauga said it was great to see work on Queensland state school infrastructure projects powering ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Importantly, construction of this new building will support 26 local jobs,” she said.

“COVID-19 has been devastating for our local community and projects like this go a long way towards contributing to our plan for economic recovery.”

Ms Lauga said based on the Queensland Treasury’s labour multiplier per million dollars spent, this project was estimated to support up to 26 jobs once fully completed.

NEW BUILDING: Designtek has shared artist impressions of Parkhurst Primary School's new learning centre.
NEW BUILDING: Designtek has shared artist impressions of Parkhurst Primary School's new learning centre.

Designtek director Keith Turner said the business’ role in this project was building design and principal consultant.

“This new building will provide a practical learning space, and give the school a prominent identity from the highway frontage. This enhances the school as an already positive environment for students and staff to be proud of,” Mr Turner said.

“There is great depth in the skills and talents we have throughout the construction industry right here in the Rockhampton region, and I’m pleased we are able to showcase it in this building today.

“This building offers great value for money and I’m sure it will serve many generations of our children. I’m looking forward to seeing it come together.”

Mr Turner thanked the State Government, and particularly Ms Lauga, for her efforts to promote the abilities of local businesses, and her promotion of the region in general.

“I think it would be safe to say, that almost 95 per cent of the people involved in this project live and work in this region,” he said.

“That has clear benefits for anyone living in our community.

“I’d also like to show my appreciation to the team at DET and the school administration who have been great to work with.”

SOD TURN: Parkhurst Primary School's Principal Lyle Walker and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga stand at the site of where the new learning centre will be built.
SOD TURN: Parkhurst Primary School's Principal Lyle Walker and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga stand at the site of where the new learning centre will be built.

Parkhurst State School has had a highly successful period of learning during the COVID-19 health pandemic, with the school’s dedicated YouTube Channel and radio station coming to the fore to host the school’s learning programs.

The school has more than 300 iPads, with six 1:1 iPad classrooms.

Parkhurst State School was one of the first schools in the region to teach ukulele and to have a recording studio to support the Instrumental Music Program that provides opportunities for students to compose their own music for multimedia creations.



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