TIMBOON P-12 School has defied problems with rundown classrooms and asbestos, boosting the number of new students as calls grow to rebuild the institution.
The school in the heart of the region’s dairy district has increased its intake by 18 students — enough to ward off concerns that dilapidated buildings would send local families searching elsewhere for an education.
WorkSafe shut down the school for a week in June last year over asbestos concerns, which also sparked questions over the school’s future.
Principal Rosalie Moorfield didn’t hide her enthusiasm for the start of classes next week, saying the figures proved the community’s loyalty to the 66-year-old P-12 facility.
An extra 25 prep pupils have enrolled.
“We’ve had one of our biggest enrolment of year sevens,” Ms Moorfield said.
“It was 474 students in 2013. This year we’re looking at 492 and that’s great news for a rural school where a lot are shrinking.”
Minor refurbishment works have taken place, with new carpet and floorcoverings.
“We’ve got brand new curtains that will keep the harsh sun out, because we don’t have any airconditioning in the school,” Ms Moorfield said.
“We’re doing our most to make sure students are comfortable.”
School leaders have avoided major capital works over summer as they press the state government to rebuild the school.
“At the end of last year there were strong indications that $4.8 million is waiting for us,” Ms Moorfield said.
But the school is yet to resolve the issue of being “over allocated” with buildings and classrooms — despite many being derelict and closed.
“We’re looking forward to the election year and the next state budget,” Ms Moorfield said. “The parent lobby group have been fabulous and very professional.”