March 15, 2023

New primary school Drouin

St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School celebrated new beginnings with an official sod-turning event at the site of the school’s new Early Learning Centre and Primary School in Drouin on 10 March.

The ceremony was led by the Principal of St Paul’s, Cameron Herbert, and the Bishop of Gippsland, the Right Reverend Dr Richard Treloar, blessed the site in front of guests that included the Chair of the Board, foundation families, alumni, staff and students, and relevant local dignitaries.

St Paul’s Academy of Music students entertained attendees as they marvelled at the breathtaking views of the Bunyip State Park from the beautiful elevated 36-acre site adjacent to the freeway on the Melbourne side of Drouin.

The decision to develop a new campus in Drouin was in response to increased demand for student numbers across the region. Detailed plans for the first two buildings of the campus, the Early Learning and Prep-Year 2 facilities, are now being finalised. Earthworks will commence later this year, before building throughout the entirety of 2024 – ready to welcome students for the first day of school in 2025. The school has also appointed foundation staff including a Head of School, Rowan van Raay, an ELC Director, Richelle Harris, and an Enrolments Officer, Bonnie Lai. As the school develops, it will grow annually to reach Year 6. Students can then look forward to a guaranteed place at the school’s highly regarded secondary school in Warragul.

The school’s striking design will create a vibrant, contemporary learning environment and a welcoming place for the growing Drouin community. Designed to nestle into the north facing slope, purpose-built classrooms will be supplemented by outdoor play spaces that will creatively access and blend with the natural landscape to encourage exploration. The large site will also provide an outstanding opportunity to integrate elements of nature into the curriculum. From its inception, the campus will be a place to encourage meaningful connections, with a focus on celebrating the outstanding learning environment at St Paul’s.

The first stage of the St Paul’s Drouin Campus will be a $15M project comprising a four-classroom Early Learning Centre, a six-classroom Primary School and associated sporting facilities and playgrounds. Future stages will be constructed to cater for the growth of the school and to provide specialist facilities. It is anticipated that more than $40M will be invested in the site over the years to 2030. The Stage 1 project is supported by the Victorian Government’s Victorian School Building Authority’s (a division of the Department of Education and Training) Building Blocks program through a capital grant of $2 million to assist with the construction of the Early Learning Centre.

St Paul’s has an ongoing commitment to the Gippsland community, demonstrated by their planned expansion plans from Drouin through to Traralgon over the coming decade. This will see an investment of more than $65M in capital works, as well as an increase in employment and business opportunities adding to the strength of the local economy.

Principal of St Paul’s, Mr Cameron Herbert, said “St Paul’s is excited to be taking enrolments for our Drouin Campus for 2025 and beyond.”

“Importantly for our students and their families, having additional choice to access a high-performing independent school in the western end of Baw Baw Shire will minimise the need for younger students to travel. The establishment of our Drouin Campus continues our significant growth plans which will see major and ongoing investment in Baw Baw and Latrobe over the next decade.”

St Paul’s Drouin Campus is now taking enrolments for year levels Pre-Kinder through to Year 2, as well as expressions of interest for students in Years 3 through to Year 6. Please visit stpaulsags.vic.edu.au/discover/drouin to discover more or to lodge an application for enrolment.

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