Exciting $10 million education facilities opened at Laidley
MILLIONS of dollars in construction and development has paid off this week with the official opening of Laidley State High School's new facilities.
In addition to a brand new, $10 million, two-storey building, existing structures have been expanded, and new equipment purchased and installed, as part of the Government's 2020 Ready project.
Education Minister Grace Grace presided over the opening, which began with a tour of the expanded trade precinct.
"The Trade Precinct includes engineering, building and smart design classrooms, as well as an extension to the existing Manual Arts Block and science centre," she said.
Visitors were led through rooms showcasing a colourful assortment of brand new tools and machinery, with students already putting them to good use.
From drills and saws to 3D printers and computers, all of the equipment is high-quality and industry-standard, meaning students are able to acclimatise themselves to what's expected in a real workplace.
The tour then explored the two levels of the new building, a bastion for all things creative.
"The Creative Arts Precinct includes music and instrumental music rooms, hospitality, dance, film and television rooms and a green room," Ms Grace said.
There are rooms designed specifically for use in music, dance, and other media, as well as more standard classrooms and offices, so the spaces can accommodate other students and staff.
Staff and students were particularly proud of the green screen room, assembled in a space that was originally intended to be a simple storage room.
Following the competition of the tour, Ms Grace expressed how impressed she was with how the projects had turned out.
"I'm very proud, and it looks fantastic," she said.
"The best part are the smiles on the faces of all the students enjoying the spaces."
The new building is fully airconditioned, and airconditioning is being installed throughout the rest of the school as well.
Green energy has also been a focus at the school, with 128 solar panels being installed.
Ms Grace said similar projects were being implemented at other schools.
"We've invested over $430 million over the past couple of years into these 2020 projects," she said.
"We've got cooler, cleaner schools, and we'll be spreading that right through the state. We are committed to ensuring all students, no matter where they live, are provided with a world-class education."
More opportunities for Laidley High students
Laidley State High School principal Michael Clarkson welcomed the new facilities.
"We are a growing school with enrolments this year of more than 800 students - this new building, plus the building extensions, will help us meet the needs of our diverse and growing student group."
In addition to the new building and equipment, expansions were made to existing buildings such as the school hall, which is now large enough to accommodate the entire cohort, with students no longer having to sit outside.
He said students being able to work with industry-level equipment was a huge benefit, as it would make it easier for students to secure vocational certifications, and step directly into employment when they finished at the school.
"About 80 per cent of our students leave the school and move into the employment and training market, 20 per cent go to university," he said.
"To know that students are earning vocational qualifications that make them employable is a real asset to our community."
Having been involved with the school for many long years, Mr Clarkson welcomed the opportunity for students and staff to be able to work to their full potential.
"I've been principal here for 16 years, and so it's really nice to be able to see students and teachers working in specialist facilities," he said.
"Our students have smiles on their faces, and they'll be highly engaged in the work that they're doing in their classrooms.