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Eastside Lutheran building to the future

EASTSIDE Lutheran College have accommodated to their continuing growth by installing four new classrooms.

Built by Cambridge building company Podmatrix, the classrooms have a visually striking design that promotes flexible learning.

Eastside Lutheran principal Wendy Ruback said Podmatrix had created a space that allowed for adaptability.

“You can open up the doors to all four classrooms to make one big classroom or divide them into two rooms – there’s lots of configurations that make it a lot more flexible than a normal classroom,” she said.

Ms Ruback said the decision to build new classrooms was due to there being a strong demand for spaces at the college.

“We’ve grown by about 400 per cent in the last five years,” she said.

“One of our philosophies is we have a very small teacher to student ratio – it is a ratio of about 1 to 15.

“Because of this we have a really strong pastoral care and the kids know that we know them and they know us – it’s more like a family community than just a school.”

Community projects coordinator Mathew Blunt said a strong community focus helped the college provide students with a strong education.

“The feedback I get from people coming to the college is that there is a lovely atmosphere and a good feel and vibe to the property,” he said.

“People feel comfortable when they come here and that word of mouth extends.”

Mr Blunt said this desire to serve the community was demonstrated by working with Podmatrix director Josh Muskett to design and build the classrooms.

Mr Muskett, whose children attend Eastside Lutheran, said he wanted to facilitate education and give students more opportunity.

“It’s not all about what you can do in school, but once they leave school,” he said.

“My business wants to help give students greater opportunity and hopefully we can continue to do that with Eastside and other schools.”

Mr Muskett started Podmatrix last January as an offshoot to his company, Total Building and Excavations.

“We employ every trade, so in all my companies we employ about 100 people – we like to think we’re a unique Tasmanian company in what we do,” he said.

Mr Muskett has hired a number of former Eastside Lutheran students as apprentices.

Mr Blunt said there would be more buildings to come as they are planning to expand and offer year 11 and 12 classes.

“It’s sad to see our students go somewhere else, so the community is reaching out to us asking if we could provide year 11 and 12,” he said.

Ms Ruback said she wanted to prepare the students for life outside the classroom.

“It’s about getting into the community, doing stuff in the community, serving the community and also learning your life skills in the community – we believe that is a really big part of education,” she said.

Caption: From left, Podmatrix director Josh Muskett, Eastside Lutheran College principal Wendy Ruback and community projects coordinator Mathew Blunt outside the four new classrooms.