Two new specialty buildings at Ipswich schools are opening up endless opportunities for students, thanks to a $20 million investment from the Palaszczuk Government.
The Goodna Special School and Ipswich State High School communities celebrated the official opening of new facilities in separate events today.
Education Minister Grace Grace joined Bundamba MP Lance McCallum and Ipswich West MP Jim Madden in the opening of the two new buildings.
Mr McCallum said the new Goodna Special School building was a game-changer.
“This $12.2 million three-storey learning centre has had such a positive impact on the students,” he said.
“The building has been officially named the Yakka Dargun Building, commemorating the Indigenous community.
“It has eight classrooms, a kitchenette, home economics kitchen, multi-purpose skills area, specialist learning spaces, outdoor work area, amenities and workspaces.”
The new STEM building at Ipswich State High has also been a hit with students and staff alike.
“This $7.8 million facility is absolutely amazing. It is fitted with 12 classrooms including computer rooms and STEM rooms, as well as 3D printing facilities,” Mr Madden said.
“It’ll enable the school to host STEM events, develop programs in virtual and augmented reality, establish a robotics club, and engage students from local primary schools in STEM activities.
“The project has also been beneficial for budding builders at Ipswich State High.
“Nine school-based apprentices from the school worked on this building site, with some going on to full-time employment."
Minister Grace said the new buildings not only benefited local students.
“Construction of both buildings supported 54 full-time jobs, which is a shot in the arm for the local economy here in Ipswich,” Ms Grace said.
“We are focused on getting people back to work as we unite and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Goodna Special School Principal Fleur Watson said the school community had been quick to embrace the new facilities.
“It’s an architecturally designed learning precinct that is bright and engaging – the staff and students just love it,” Ms Watson said.
“We work hard to achieve excellent outcomes for students with significant disabilities, and the new purpose-built facilities will help our students reach their potential.
“The classrooms are fantastic with plenty of natural light and the new centre includes sensory rooms to help meet individual student needs.”
Ipswich State High School Principal Simon Riley said the STEM building was making a world of difference to students.
“By working closely with teachers and the design and construction teams, we have ensured the new centre is functional, flexible and appealing for students and teachers alike,” Mr Riley said.