As the new school year looms ever closer, the unveiling of designs for Shepparton's new secondary college was a highly anticipated step for both local stakeholders and the State Government.
Key community members gathered at Shepparton High School yesterday to learn more about the designs and the state-of-the-art facilities students can expect from 2022.
Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed and the Victorian School Building Authority chief executive Chris Keating spoke about the developments before a fly-through video was shared with the community, which included 3D impressions of the facilities.
The new school, to be established on the current site of Shepparton High School, will be set around the Enterprise and Innovation Centre, which will feature science labs, performing arts and musical rehearsal studios, a food technology kitchen and other technology spaces.
This centre will be one of two specialised precincts, the other being a gymnasium, and will connect to three surrounding 'neighbourhood' buildings designed for older students.
The gymnasium is set to include two competition-sized basketball and netball courts, a fitness and weights room and spaces for yoga and dance.
Outside amentities include hard courts, a full-size oval and a soccer pitch, which will be located at Ford Reserve.
According to VSBA documents, around two thirds of the school site will be outdoor spaces, achieved by designing buildings of various storeys, which will used for social, cultural and recreational learning.
In an attempt to minimise traffic congestion in the area, the document also notes a separate entry for staff parking off Feshti St, with a large eight-bus drop-off zone accessible from Hawdon St.
Mr Merlino was delighted to unveil the design plans with the wider community.
"Everything a child is interested in or passionate about will be delivered at this school," he said.
"This is world-leading education design and I'm just so excited."
Ms Sheed said it was great for the community to see a visual impression of the new site.
"It's a phenomenal design, it encapsulates everything we've talked about throughout the last couple of years of consultation," she said.
"The one thing people want is the best for their children and to be able to see that the children of Shepparton and the Greater Shepparton region are getting something that they truly deserve I think will be really heartwarming for parents."
Responding to concerns about the lack of a funding commitment from the State Government, Mr Merlino said "there are future budget decisions" that will be needed.
"Rest assured, we will finish what we started," he said.
"We're not going to turn our backs on the kids of Shepparton and Mooroopna, we're going to deliver them the best school in Victoria."
Mr Merlino also announced three potential names that had been selected for further community consultation: Goulburn Valley High School, Greater Shepparton High School and Greater Shepparton College.
Community members were encouraged to fill out anonymous voting cards with their preferences on the day.
An online voting poll is open until September 20 on the Engage Victoria website.
MORE ABOUT THE NEW SCHOOL