By Jed Lanyon
Upper Yarra Secondary College is in the planning stage of constructing a new science building that will modernise the school’s STEAM education.
Assistant principal Michael Schultz said, “STEAM is a priority of the school, so that is science, technology, engineering, art and maths… This is something we’re pushing hard with at the school.
“The idea is that this building will have four new science labs, and then it will have three general purpose areas that will be classrooms dedicated to teaching STEAM.
“A lot of our buildings are quite old. From my understanding our science labs are the originals. So that makes them 50 years old.”
The STEAM pavilion will provide an environment that is suited to a modern teaching style, aided by features such as moving tables and other new equipment.
The project is part of the Lilydale and Upper Yarra Education Plan by the state government that will see $6.2 million provided to Upper Yarra Secondary College, as well as $5.8 million and $8 million for projects at Lilydale High School and Lilydale Heights College respectively.
The project has been designed by Harrison and White and is currently in the tendering process.
The school is optimistic to see construction start in the summer holidays, while being hopeful of a completion date at the beginning of the 2021 school year.
“It’d be great to have something started by the end of the year, but it would probably be more convenient for everybody to start as soon as school finishes,” Mr Schultz said.
“In a perfect world it would be the start of 2021.”
This project is the first stage of the school’s overall aim to build outdoor classrooms, an indigenous garden and an urban outdoor sporting hub as part of their focus on outdoor learning education.
The construction of those facilities will be dependent on the costs of the STEAM pavilion.
“It’s critical for our kids to have the same opportunities that they would get down the line.
“Our kids should have the best facilities and the best equipment.”
Mr Schultz said that the construction of the STEAM pavilion and the removal of chicken wire fencing surrounding tennis courts will open up a stunning view of the Yarra Ranges landscape.