EVERY week butterflies swirl for Max Darmanin when he fronts the Warrnambool Special Developmental School assembly.
Max, 10, has difficulty with speech, and his teachers have encouraged him to read aloud the school's house points to his classmates.
"We are trying to help him be able to articulate clearly and practicing at assembly is helping him build his confidence," assistant principal Jo Roche said.
While Ms Roche said Max had made progress, from next year his voice will be amplified through high-quality sound equipment at the school's new campus, thanks to a $25,000 donation from service club Kiwanis Warrnambool.
The money will help the school purchase audio and sound equipment, a stage, chairs, lighting and a projector for an under-construction multipurpose hall.
Club president Ann Boyle said the donation had taken 12 months of fundraising and was the biggest donation Kiwanis Warrnmabool had made in its 45-year history.
"We made the commitment because the basic things weren't being supplied," Ms Boyle said.
The school original planned to teach at the new $14.6 million Wollaston Road campus this year, but construction delays have pushed that time frame forward to term one next year.
The school and community groups have fundraised to buy new equipment, not covered by the state government's building commitments, and earlier this year even installed a giant painted thermometer to track progress towards a $1 million target.
"We are at about $260,000 and we're busily applying for grants," Ms Roche said. "Without community fundraising we wouldn't be able to have the basic things we need."
Meanwhile, Max said he looked forward to leaving behind some of the aged facilities at the Hyland Street campus.
"Even the door looks a bit broken, the colour is a bit ugly," he said.
"The new school will be different, it will have a new playground."
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