AS Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan opened the new Epsom Primary School buildings last week, she announced the school would get more land on which to extend limited play space, and in the future build more classrooms.
The school’s 270 students cheered as Ms Allan officially opened the new $5.7m school, the journey to which principal Lyn Coulter said had been long and challenging.
“The last four years have been trying at times for students,” Ms Coulter said.
“When we have had machines working near where they have had to learn, they have just put their heads down.”
The school community also had to argue as part of the new school plan to demolish the original school building to extend outdoor space at the constrained site, and save itself more than $15,000 a year in costs maintaining the century-old building.
Its demolition in April, against the wishes of the City of Greater Bendigo, has transformed the front of the school although students continue to use the space close to busy Howard Street to run and kick the footy.
Purchase of the land at the back of the school, which Ms Allan said would settle in December, will allow more space for sport.
But it will also allow for future growth, a prospect in the near future.
This year enrolments of prep students tripled at the Epsom school and projecting out five years Ms Coulter said the school could expect annual enrolments of up to 450 students.
Ms Coulter said growth would see the school change from a small rural school to a regional school with an expanding catchment north of Bendigo.