Campaign builds to resite Warrnambool Special Developmental School

PARENTS are vowing to lift their campaign for a new Warrnambool Special Developmental School after missing out in the state budget. 

Warrnambool Special Developmental School principal Robert Dowell and school council committee member Ann-Marie Day in the facility’s cramped confines.

Warrnambool Special Developmental School principal Robert Dowell and school council committee member Ann-Marie Day in the facility’s cramped confines.

The government is spending big on schools this year, promising to build 11 new schools, many of them in marginal electorates. 

Warrnambool Special Developmental School is yet to put a formal plan to the Department of Education — but its leaders are still downcast after the budget. 

“We’re not surprised but we are a little disappointed, school council president Ken Gale said. 

The school told the government in 2012 that it was nearing capacity at its Hyland Street site. 

Mr Gale warned space was running out at the school. 

“We’ve got quite the battle ahead of us,” he said. 

“If we don’t get a new school we may need to start capping numbers and parents and students will miss out.”

School management does not have a master plan for a new site, nor does it have funding for gauging the potential of alternative locations. 

Such a plan was an integral part of Timboon P-12’s recent success in obtaining $5.2 million for a school rebuild. 

Mr Gale suggested the school’s location atop the Hyland Street hill,  with views of the city, could be sold off to bankroll the development. 

He said the school would begin sending delegations to Melbourne to meet with Education Minister Martin Dixon and his opposition counterpart James Merlino. 

“We’re really going to pursue it actively. It’s not a matter of want, it’s a matter of need,” Mr Gale said. 

School leaders already have their sights set on vacant land in the city’s north. 

Warrnambool City Council has set aside land near Wollaston Road for a future school or education site. 

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