by Brooke Duncan
TWO Chinchilla schools are set to expand after receiving more than $1.3million to build new classrooms through the Federal Government's Capital Grants Program.
The program is designed to provide funding to non-government primary and secondary school communities to improve infrastructure if the school community doesn't have enough capital resources.
St Joseph's Chinchilla and Chinchilla Christian College will share in the funding, announced by Maranoa MP David Littleproud when he was in Chinchilla last week.
"As a former St Joseph's school student, it was great to go back to school to announce this $477,197 injection to construct new learning areas and student amenities,” Mr Littleproud said.
"I also grew up next door to the Christian College so I've seen this school grow over the years, so it was exciting to go back and announce the school will continue to expand thanks to $825,000 in Federal Government funding.”
St Joseph's principal Aaron Wells said the funding would go towards the construction of four new classrooms.
"Our school has been growing steadily over a number of years now to the point where, as a school, we need to expand, so it's quite fortuitous and quite timely that this has come along at this stage,” Mr Wells said.
"It will manage that continued growth that we have been experiencing in the school. (The classrooms will) be for our lower school, so two Prep and two Year 1 classrooms.
"Ideally the master plan is for us to move to a two-stream school, so basically having two Preps, two Year 1s, two Year 2s, and so on right through to two Year 6s eventually.”
Mr Wells said the school had been planning and applying for the funding during the past 12 months, but expanding the facilities had been a part of the school master plan for a couple of years.
He said the school had also received State Government funding for the project.
"We've got all the plans and things in place at the moment, so we've just got to go out to council approval and tender process, but we're hoping they'll all be constructed and ready for occupation by October next year,” Mr Wells said.
"It's obviously going to increase the quality of resourcing that we have here at the school and provide greater opportunities for Chinchilla families to access Catholic education.”
Mr Littleproud said the funding for the Christian College would go into building new rooms for hospitality and information technology classes, as well as purchasing new school equipment.
"While buildings alone do not make a school, students and the whole local community will benefit from using these new facilities,” Mr Littleproud said.