Consultation on schools' fate

FUTURE: Education Minister John Gardner (left) and Education Department Whyalla Director Carol Williams at the site of the new $100 million high school.
FUTURE: Education Minister John Gardner (left) and Education Department Whyalla Director Carol Williams at the site of the new $100 million high school.

Education Minister John Gardner says the state government will engage with the community about the fate of the three current high schools in Whyalla ahead of the opening of a new $100 million high school.

Mr Gardner was in the steel city today to attend the opening of two new Science Technology Engineering and Maths centres at Nicolson Avenue Primary School and Whyalla Town Primary School.

The Year 7-12 school is scheduled to commence Term 1 in 2022, giving the state government a three-year window to decide what will become of Edward John Eyre High School Stuart High School and Whyalla High School.

Mr Gardner said the government didn't want to see the sites be left 'derelict or vacant', but rather have them put to good use.

"We want to put them to use in a way that will realise value for taxpayers but also benefit the community," he said.

"There's a lot of discussion still to have about what might be seen on those sites. I know the Whyalla City Council has a number of ideas already and I commend them for that.

"We will be having those discussions in the coming years."

The architects of the new school, Cox Architecture and Thomson Rossi, previously told the Whyalla News that the new school would be a modern facility featuring state of the art technology.

Minister Gardner said technology in classrooms would be a key feature of the school.

"Digital technology being available in classrooms is pretty critical...having the facilities that are designed with a modern curriculum in mind is very different, it's like stepping into a new world," he said.

"In 2022 that opportunity will be available for these kids in Whyalla."

Responding to the concerns about the potential for increased bullying at the new high school, Mr Gardner said the wellbeing of students would be 'front and centre' in the minds of support staff come Term 1.

"A school of this size is a larger one than we've had in Whyalla but there are schools larger than this throughout South Australia, and I'm very confident we'll be able to see outstanding results while also looking after students' wellbeing."