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Construction kicks off at Southern Support School

CONSTRUCTION work has commenced at the Southern Support School in Howrah for a $4.3 million redevelopment of the site, which is expected to be completed by 2022.

The project is one of 60 education capital works projects in various stages of planning, design or construction around Tasmania that will benefit future and current students.

The first stage of the redevelopment will involve the relocation of the Howrah Beach Child Care Centre to allow the Southern Support School to have the space for the physical infrastructure required.

Southern Support School principal Simon Ellaby said the redevelopment would increase the capacity at the school to support more children.

“When we first moved here 10-years-ago, the school was about half the size it currently is, and the redevelopment will be fantastic for the school to give us more capacity,” he said.

“We anticipate putting in at least three classes in the new spaces, and a class hosts seven to eight students, so we’ll have capacity for between 20 and 25 new students.”

Mr Ellaby said the investment would mean more inclusive and supportive school infrastructure that would create a better environment to support students within the school.

“Each class will have its own separate sensory space with sensory lighting,” he said.

Areas such as the library and playground courtyards will also be specially adapted with wheelchair access.

Minister for Education and Training Jeremy Rockliff said the redevelopment would have positive benefits to not just the school and its students, but also the wider community.

“Local Tasmanian business Vos Construction and Joinery is undertaking the redevelopment, supporting local jobs and importantly helping to stimulate the local economy at a time when we need it most,” he said.

“We recognise that investing in educational infrastructure is investing in the future of our students by giving them the best possible environment to learn, grow and thrive.”

Member for Franklin Jacquie Petrusma said the redevelopment would benefit current and future generations of students at the school.

“This redevelopment will include additional flexible learning spaces, amenities, support areas and facilities for staff with a strong emphasis on ensuring the site is more accessible and supportive,”  she said.