Ettalong Public School is set to receive new covered outdoor learning area (COLA) and shade structures under tranche two of the NSW Government’s $120M Regional Renewal Program.
Ettalong will be one of 20 public schools in the region to receive new and improved facilities, with Principal Lynn Balfour looking forward to the long-awaited improvements.
“We are so excited because it means we can get our shade shelter much quicker due to the Regional Renewal Program,” Balfour said.
“Schools put a certain percentage of money towards the improvements, and we have put 50 per cent, which means we can get a large shade shelter over our Kindergarten and Year 2 play area much faster than raising all the money ourselves.
“We have told the students we hope to have a covered area for them at some stage, but we aren’t sure of the completed date—it would be lovely if we can have it for next summer.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, said more than $3.3M would go towards playground upgrades, new toilet blocks and improved classrooms in the region.
“The NSW Government invited schools to apply for this funding to improve facilities in October last year,” Crouch said.
“Delivery of each project will occur within the next 18 months and wherever possible, schools will use local construction companies, suppliers and workers as a targeted way of bouncing back from COVID-19.”
President of the Central Coast Council of P&C’s, Sharryn Brownlee, said the funding was welcome news for schools and their communities after a tough year in 2020.
“It’s exciting to see this further investment in schools across the Central Coast,” Brownlee said.
“This funding will help to ensure students have the best possible facilities to create the best possible learning environment.”
The Regional Renewal Program will provide a co-contribution from the NSW Government of between 50 to 80 per cent for school infrastructure improvements to high priority schools across regional NSW.
Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell, said the program forms part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
“This program is part of the NSW Government’s economic stimulus response to the pandemic, and will deliver educational benefits, community benefits and economic benefits as communities continue to recover,” Mitchell said.
Media release, Mar 16
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch