New Sunshine Coast schools set for first students

Three new Sunshine Coast state schools are among five new south-east Queensland state schools set to welcome their first students and teachers in 48 hours’ time.

Education Minister Grace Grace and Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt today visited the $127.5 million Baringa State Secondary College in Caloundra for a preview ahead of the arrival of about 200 Year 7 and 8 students and their teachers on Wednesday morning.

Further up the Coast, Palmview State and Palmview State Special School are also preparing for their first students.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her Government was investing in schools and education because it was an investment in Queensland’s future generation and jobs.

“Investing in building schools is also an investment in jobs and our economy as we unite and recover from the global pandemic,” the Premier said.

“We’re investing a record $1.9 billion on school infrastructure in 2020-21, supporting almost 4800 jobs.”

Mr Hunt said building the three Sunshine Coast schools had supported nearly 800 jobs for local tradies.

“Baringa alone has supported more than 380 jobs, including five trainees and 76 apprentices,” Mr Hunt said.

“And now all three Sunshine Coast schools will provide world-class education services for families in one of the fastest-growing areas of Queensland.

“Our government continues to provide Queensland families access to world-class public education – no matter where they live.”

At Palmview, the $64 million new primary school will welcome about 180 students from Prep to Year 6 and the nearby special school, more than 30 from Prep to Year 12.

As well as the three Sunshine Coast schools, two others will open their doors to students on Wednesday: Gainsborough State School on the Gold Coast and Brisbane South State Secondary College. 

FKG Group has built Baringa, which includes an administration centre; library; food studies and hospitality; junior learning centre; two court sports centre; lecture theatre and a science centre. 

Education Minister Grace Grace said this year’s infrastructure spend also included work on three new schools for 2022 – a new special school in Coomera and primary schools in North MacLean and Caloundra South.

“Our ongoing investment continues to build on the $5.2 billion the Palaszczuk Government has put into school infrastructure since 2015,” she said.

Foundation principal Matt Samson said he was delighted and proud to take the helm of the new school.

“The whole community has been eagerly awaiting the opening of Baringa SSC and are looking forward to making the most of the fabulous facilities on offer for students,” Mr Samson said.

“One of our school’s best features is a state-of-the-art lecture theatre which will allow us to have university-style lectures for students and is the perfect venue for guest speakers, further enhancing the quality educational experiences we can offer.”