Minister turns first sod for Hedland High
The Pilbara’s first independent public school, Hedland Senior High School, entered an exciting new era last week when Minister for Education Dr Liz Constable turned the first sod on school grounds, signifying the commencement of major capital works.
The state government’s Pilbara Cities and Royalties for Regions programs, with BHP Billiton Iron Ore are responsible for pooling $11.35 million towards the refurbishment which will give the school a dynamic facelift, hopefully completed by December this year.
Tuesday morning’s ceremony was held on the Hamilton Road entrance lawns beside the Matt Dann Theatre where work on a brand new administration building with a statement entrance will now begin.
Plans also include construction of modern classrooms for areas such as technology and the statement entrance aims to stamp the school as a contemporary, state-of-the-art educational institution.
Dr Constable said it’s valuable for every school to have a statement about itself and that the new administration block here will do just that.
“I think it’s really important that people feel good about being here,” she said.
Dr Constable also said that new, modern classrooms will mean that whichever direction students want to go, whether into a trade or university, opportunities will be there for everybody.
BHP Billiton Iron Ore Vice President Health, Safety, Environment and Community Carl Binning said that the company believes education to be absolutely fundamental to providing opportunities to young Australians.
Pilbara Development Commission CEO Steven Webster, also representing Minister for Regional Development Brendan Grylls, identified the occasion as a milestone, particularly due to the growth of the town and the region.
“Port Hedland is more and more becoming a place people are choosing to bring up families with access to high standards of education, health and also diverse career opportunities,” he said.
Of this milestone, the school’s principal Mr John Burke said he was thrilled to be there in his role. “It’s the best job in the world, but particularly today it stands out.”