Picton High School will be totally unrecognisable after a $100 million transformation of its ageing classrooms and grounds are complete.
The school will be a huge winner in tomorrow night’s state budget with a $100 million funding allocation to rebuild, modernise and expand its education facilities.
The massive redevelopment will see the school expanded to accommodate up to 2000 students, with new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities.
Construction is expected to begin next year.
Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell has worked hard behind the scenes to deliver this unprecedented education spend in the shire.
“This funding will be used to completely rebuild the high school,” Mr Rowell said.
“This funding will provide for the education needs for our students today and into the future.
“The school will become a state-of-the-art facility to match the school’s state-of-the-art teachers.
“This expansion also will bring an employment boost because more teachers and administration staff will be needed.”
The revamp will ensure the shire has two modern and well-equipped public high schools once a high school in Wilton New Town is built.
Some funds are expected to be allocated in the budget for the planning of the new Wilton New Town high school.
Picton High School’s deputy principal Vanessa Harrison said she was “very excited” the school would receive the funding injection.
“This money will see the school moved into the 21st century,” she said.
“There will be new learning classrooms, break out rooms, specialist areas for performance, sport facilities, creative arts spaces, kitchens for our hospitality students and trade workshops.”
This funding boost is part of the state government’s education commitment which will see a record $4.2 billion invested into new and existing school projects over the next four years.
In the next two years, $2.2 billion worth of projects will start.
Mr Rowell said the school would have no trouble filling the spots, especially with the growing population and new housing developments that were being built.
“Students in the shire go to 35 different high schools at Camden, Campbelltown, Penrith and Bowral,” he said.
“The redevelopment of Picton will mean more of those students will stay in the shire which means they will have more time for homework and family.”
Ms Harrison said the school would provide the space for more hands-on learning, project-based learning and group work.
“Many of our students go on to university and do amazing things and this new facility will mean more students have a solid basis to start from at high school,” she said.
“This new facility will set our students up to transfer into the work force where they will have to work in a team.”
Education minister Rob Stokes praised Mr Rowell’s years of campaigning.
“Jai Rowell is one of the hardest working local members we have and this is reflected in this announcement,” Mr Stokes said.
“He has been advocating hard for greater capacity and significant education investment in Wollondilly and today I am happy to announce that in this year’s budget Wollondilly is getting exactly that.”
Final funding for the school project will be confirmed after the tender process for works has been completed.
The school now has nearly 1200 students.