Wonderful: Assistant Principal of St Finbarrs Primary School, Julia Kelly is happy to see construction of a new assembly hall using funds from the Federal Government’s Building Education Revolution.
Wonderful: Assistant Principal of St Finbarrs Primary School, Julia Kelly is happy to see construction of a new assembly hall using funds from the Federal Government’s Building Education Revolution. Jay Cronan

Principals thrilled with buildings

BARNABY Joyce may think the government’s school stimulus package has led to nothing more than ‘glorified garden sheds’ being built, but local schools don’t see it quite that way.

Bangalow Public principal Tim Edwards said the 300-seat assembly hall his school will be getting soon will be a ‘great benefit to the school and the community’.

“Without the (Federal Govt’s) Building Education Revolution (BER) we would never have got anything of this size.”

As to having a building ‘dumped’ on the school, in Senator Joyce’s words, Mr Edwards said the school committee had been given a choice, and that it had wanted a hall.

It was smiles all round at St Finbarr’s in Byron Bay too.

The Catholic primary school has been able to commission a new assembly hall, an extension to its library and a canteen for its 180 students.

“It’s wonderful, just wonderful,” said Julia Kelly, the deputy principal.

“We would not have been able to do this for a very long time otherwise,” she said.

By the end of the year, all the students will be able to gather together for assemblies, she said.

Meanwhile, reports yesterday that contractors such as Reeds were charging the same amount for each building, no matter its size, were erroneous, according to the NSW Department of Education.

Separate school works were delivered by the managing contractor in ‘a package’, a spokesman said, and the costs had been averaged over all the schools in the package.

“The final costings are unlikely to be identical, as once buildings are delivered to school, each component will change to reflect the actual conditions at the site.

“This was mainly an accounting measure which allowed us to save time and money as well as comply with BER guidelines,” he said.



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