EDUCATE || Yourself on the development in Victoria’s educational institutions

Inner-City Schools: Such Great Heights

Back in the 80’s and 90s when the majority of us here at Earl St. were doing our schooling, educational systems were a lot of things, but cool was never one of them. Overcrowded homerooms typically came in the form of stuffy porter-classes with a leaky roof, mouldy carpet and desks that had carvings that could probably be traced back to some pre-linguistic era where students learnt with ye old stone etching. We breathed in little particles of asbestos when playing Dead Fish (or Sleeping Lions, depending on which part of the state you were born in), our teeth endlessly chatted throughout Winter and on rainy days we spent long afternoons jammed into the crammed little boxes, our necks painfully craning to catch a peek of the wet-day-timetable’s signature movie. Was it easy? Hell no. Did we complain? Hell yes. Did it make any difference? Not a bit. Thankfully for our next generations, it seems that a little more fore-thought has gone into manufacturing environments conducive to individual and intellectual development. Not only has the government poo-poo’d the tin boxes of the good old days, but they have actually commissioned some of the country’s – and indeed the world’s – leading architectural firms to take the lead in creating new learning spaces. Which of course led us down that very dark path of our ancestors where we all roll our eyes and say, “kids these days, they don’t know how good they’ve got it” …

Lately there’s been a quite a bit of interest around the soaring property prices in suburb’s associated with having leading public schools. With increased demand in these areas but restricted capacity and obviously landholdings, governments are bring forced to get a little crafty with how they approach the growing demand in these areas. In what is a rather radical move for our traditionally conservative educational structures, the Victorian Government has announced the development of several expansion platforms aimed at catering to the growth issue. Their solution: Vertical Campuses. With the first of a scheduled series of these inner-urban campuses set to launch with a primary school on Ferrars Street, South Melbourne – which will feature an impressive five-storeys with city views – this will be subsequently followed by a four storey addition to Richmond and a similar $25million vertical project to be added to Prahran’s academic precinct.
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