Dennington's St John's Primary School gets the finishing touches

Teacher Amy Holscher (in front), Ethan McIntyre 7, Amity Brookes 9, Ava McKenna 6, and Dominic Bandara, 12, previewing last year's Dennington Day Out at St John's.

Teacher Amy Holscher (in front), Ethan McIntyre 7, Amity Brookes 9, Ava McKenna 6, and Dominic Bandara, 12, previewing last year's Dennington Day Out at St John's.

THE final classrooms are ready for pupils at St John’s Primary School in Dennington after seven years of planning and millions of dollars in work. 

Principal Kathy Dalton, who has led the school for 21 years, couldn't hide her happiness yesterday as pupils, politicians and parents filed in.

“It’s a great school, we’re very lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to build a new school,” she said. 

“It’s a once in a lifetime thing.” 

Even though pupils moved into the newest building last year, the final touches were only added on Tuesday. 

The principal pointed to two new classrooms, freshly carpeted with blank walls — yet to be wallpapered with student art and posters. 

“They were finished just last night. Grade five and six will move into those classrooms in the coming weeks,” Ms Dalton said. 

“We purchased the land in 2007 and the building began in 2008 and we moved into the first stage in 2011.

“The building has been something that we’ve been doing on a journey.”

The long-serving principal may need to take up gardening with the major project behind her. 

But she didn’t rule out bigger plans as the school undergoes a “rapid” increase in enrolments. There are 220 youngsters enrolled at the Catholic school. 

“We’re a school with an increasing enrolment — rapidly, so who knows,” Ms Dalton said. 

The school left its former site on Raglan Parade in 2011,  with the vacant site sold to a Geelong-based church this week. 

A delay in the flight of special guest, Senator Scott Ryan, also caused a few laughs as Wannon MP Dan Tehan decided to take over the assembly.

The Liberal MP proved himself a potential future parliamentary speaker, calming the excited ruckus of pupils.

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