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A new state-of-the-art facility will support Beaconshills College Pakenham in delivering its specialised Year 9 program.
Work has begun on the $5.7 million Year 9 centre at the Toomuc Valley Road campus, which will feature six general purpose and two specialist classrooms, a large multi-purpose area for lectures, exhibitions and meetings, designated spaces for music and audio-visual production classes and landscaping.
Jointly funded by the school and State Government, the facility will be used by middle secondary students as part of the school’s specialised Year 9 program, the first of its kind in Victoria.
Introduced 20 years ago, the program aims to minimise disengagement from education which typically occurs around the Year 9 age group.
College Headmaster Tony Sheumack said the original centre, which opened in 1996, had served its purpose well, but was well past its intended lifespan.
“I am proud of the fact our Year 9 program was the first dedicated, on-campus program of its type in Victoria,” Mr Sheumack said.
“The college recognised 18 years ago that Year 9 was a time when students could disengage from learning.
“It’s also a critical time when they really begin to examine their own philosophies, attitudes and identity as they move into adulthood.
“What grew from this is the incredible Year 9 program we have today.”
Mr Sheumack said children from the college’s early learning centre would also benefit from the upgrade, with the area to be re-developed to create an attractive natural habitat for its ‘bush kinder’ program.
The centre will include rainwater harvesting systems and a large solar installation, as well as energy efficient lighting and environmental controls.
Construction of the long-awaited project officially began last week, with Gembrook MP Brad Battin joining the school for the turning of the first sod of earth.
The new building will be ready for the start of Term 2, 2018.

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