Education Minister Grace Grace and Cairns MP Michael Healy have officially opened a $5.6 million ‘Innovation Building’ at Cairns West State School, part of a $7.8 million overall investment in new infrastructure at the school over the last two years.
Ms Grace visited the primary school this morning, inspecting the new Innovation Building as well as a $2.2 million refurbishment of B Block which was finished in 2017.
“It’s wonderful to join Michael Healy in Cairns today to see first-hand how much these new facilities mean to the students at Cairns West State School,” Ms Grace said.
“The Palaszczuk Government was proud to invest in this new building at Cairns West State School which has the largest population of Indigenous students in any Australian primary school.
“Of the 660 students who attend this school, 436 identify as being from an Indigenous background.
“It’s critically important that we support schools and communities which provide education for our Indigenous students.
“We want to ensure all students have access to a world-class education, no matter where they live.”
Ms Grace said the Innovation Building features six additional classrooms, three outdoor learning areas, a music and performance space, activity room, kitchen, administration spaces and covered access linking back to the spine of the school.
“The building also has a ‘STEAM’ room, which means it is especially equipped to teach students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics,” she said.
Mr Healy said he was pleased to see almost $8 million injected into facilities at Cairns West State School.
“Construction of the new $5.6 million state-of-the-art building supported 15 full-time jobs which is a great boost to our local economy,” Mr Healy said.
“The $2.2 million refurbishment of B Block also supported five full-time jobs.
“I’m thrilled with this investment which has given the school a big boost.”
Cairns West State School Principal Michael Hansen said the school was excited to welcome the Minister and to have the opportunity to formally open the Innovation Building.
“I believe it’s very important for the students to meet the Minister and to see that the Minister wants to visit Far North Queensland and even more important for them to know she wants to visit our school.
“The new building is a really beautiful and well-designed learning environment that is so beneficial for our school – it’s a wonderful project that gives our school the flexibility it needs to deliver high quality education.
“We have also housed our special education students in a room on the ground floor of the new building to show them how much we value them as students at our school.”