It was pleasing that James Merlino, Education Minister responded to an invitation by Dee Ryall MP, Member for Ringwood, to visit Norwood Secondary College and see the appalling arts and science facilities and the lack of modern learning spaces.
Mr Merlino joined Ms. Ryall, Principal, Andrew Sloane, and School Council President Cathie Wright to discuss Labor’s election commitment and the school’s other urgent priorities. These include the urgent need for a master plan and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Centre, much needed for the future job opportunities of Norwood’s 1100 students.
Labor committed, in the 2014 election, to a combined stadium and performing arts facility between Norwood Secondary College and Mullum Primary, located next door. The school communities have determined that a combined facility will not meet the needs of the schools. With Norwood’s having to accommodate sporting activities for 1100 students, it is vital that the school has a comprehensive gym and sporting centre to meet its needs now and into the future. The faclility will also provide a much needed location for whole of school assemblies and functions.
The former Liberal National Coalition Government made an election commitment of $7.5 Million to Norwood for a state of the art Sporting Centre and STEM Centre, with the option of the school project managing to achieve 21st Century facilities with best value for money.
It is pleasing that Mr Merlino has agreed to separate facilities. Mr Merlino has advised that Norwood Secondary’s Sports Centre will be a “lesser facility” as a result.
Ms. Ryall has urged the Minister to look at the long-term plan for the neglected Norwood Secondary College and ensure that a master plan is promptly funded and completed. She has also requested that when the Government removes the portable classrooms containing asbestos, he include the relocating of adjacent portables so that this cost does not further reduce the sports centre funding.
Quotes attributed to Dee Ryall:
“Both Norwood Secondary and Mullum Primary school communities are deserving of 21st Century facilities that will meet their needs now and into the future. I ask Mr Merlino to work with me and the school communities to ensure both schools receive the necessary funding for facilities to meet their needs.