The State Government have committed to building a new 8-12 high school in Whyalla, describing it as a ‘state-of-the-art facility for a town with a bright future’.
The investment, worth up to $100 million, reflects the town’s newfound confidence since the future of the Whyalla Steelworks was assured, following its sale to GFG Alliance.
The new site with new purpose-built facilities will allow the community’s three existing secondary schools – Edward John Eyre, Stuart and Whyalla High Schools – to come together, combining their traditions and heritage to create a new learning environment for local students.
The construction of the high school between the UniSA and TAFE SA campuses will facilitate the development of an innovative education hub attracting students from beyond Whyalla.
Member for Giles Eddie Hughes said the new school would smooth out the current secondary education system in Whyalla.
“All the educators that I have spoken to say the transition point between the two junior primary schools and the senior high school is a very bad model,” he said.
“For some students it can have a very negative impact.”
Mr Hughes said there were several plans for the sites left behind by EJEHS, Stuart High and Whyalla High.
“Eyre High lends itself to becoming a major sporting hub and Whyalla High has fantastic potential. The state owns all the land from the Farrell Street lookout down to the beach,” he said.
“We have an opportunity with the confidence that is growing in Whyalla to have a look at a range of options for that area, so that’s an exciting prospect.
“Stuart Primary School will continue to function at the current site, while there has been some early discussion with non-government and government agencies about the potential to be near their clients in that part of the city.”
The new high school will benefit from potential shared use of facilities with UniSA and TAFE SA and will encourage tertiary pathways for Whyalla secondary students.
A range of local stakeholders were involved with the process, which included extensive community consultation. The new school will be built using a PPP (public, private partnership) process.