Parents at a Braybrook primary school are calling on the state government to honour its promise to bring the school into the modern age.
Star Weekly reported in May that the long-awaited rebuild of Dinjerra Primary School could finally get under way following a $7.4 million allocation in the state government’s budget.
The money was to pave the way for demolition of asbestos-riddled 1960s-era buildings and sheds, refurbishment of the school library and the construction of new administration and classroom buildings.
But parents say a delay in funding means tenders came in well above budget, forcing the school to scale back the rebuild.
School council president Vesna Frisina said the Victorian School Building Authority and architects had initially seemed confident the work would come in below the allocated budget.
“As a result, we have had to remove a large amount of options that we put into the plan to design a more eco-friendly and sustainable school for the future,” she said.
The school was also promised four relocatable classrooms during the rebuild, only to be told at the eleventh hour that only two would be provided.
“Each one was essential to the school being able to function over the 12-18 month period,” Ms Frisina said.
“The decision was made without consultation, discussion and months too late in the planning cycle.”
The school finally managed to have a third relocatable classroom provided, but other problems have emerged.
Ms Frisina said the school is receiving no support in providing shaded areas for students or adequate fencing to provide proper safety during the works.
“Unfortunately there is a lot of uncertainty as to whether these issues can and will be rectified, despite our pleas to the VSBA,” she said.
“It’s the lack of communication, support and transparency throughout this process that has been of great concern to us.”
A Department of Education and Training spokeswoman did not respond to questions about how the initial budget was assessed or whether additional funding to meet the shortfall would be considered.
She said that although four relocatables were initially planned to be installed, the school was informed that – based on the number of student enrolments – only three were required.
“The Victorian School Building Authority has worked with the school to keep it informed about the required costs of this project throughout the process,” she said.