The NT Minister for Education Eva Lawler announced the Northern Territory Government’s Budget 17 will include a $6 million redevelopment and upgrade to the 50-year-old Ludmilla Primary School, creating local jobs and supporting students and their families.
Ms Lawler said the investment will fund stage 1 of Ludmilla Primary School’s master plan that includes a new early learning centre and an integrated area to support a play group and other services.
“We believe that projects that create jobs and invest in children are the right thing to do and the smart thing to do – the upcoming budget will deliver on both these election promises,” Ms Lawler said.
“The first years of a child’s life are crucial and significantly impact on their success in their adult years and that’s why we’re investing in early childhood.
“Revitalising and renewing Ludmilla Primary School will also allow the school to accommodate a growing demand from local families through the provision of new learning areas.
“This is a strategic investment in the school and its facilities, which includes a complete refurbishment of the existing two story building.
“Ludmilla Primary School is ideally positioned for growth, both in terms of physical location and capacity to meet demand for student places, with an increase in enrolments expected once families return to the 100 new houses at Eaton on the RAAF Base, as well as an overflow of students from nearby primary schools.
“Budget 17 will invest in Territory children, create jobs, and build stronger communities for a prosperous future, and I am excited to make this announcement as Ludmilla Primary School celebrate their 50th anniversary of teaching Darwin children.”
The project will include demolishing the current early years’ facilities that are subject to periodic flooding; improving disability access across the school; and landscaping the school grounds to mitigate flooding so children can play in outdoor areas.
A contemporary and vibrant Early Learning Centre for children aged from birth to five years will provide an integrated area for supported play groups and other services.
Ludmilla Primary School Principal Carol Putica said the rejuvenation of the old school would modernise the facilities.
“Having new and contemporary facilities will mean our school can respond to modern teaching and learning practices as well as attract families and new enrolments to the school,” Ms Putica said.
“We know from birth to five years of age is a key learning time for children, so the new facilities will ensure that all our students are given the best possible start in life.”
A Project Development Group will be formed to oversee design and documentation with construction expected to commence by February 2018.
The front of school will also be upgraded with $300 000 from a Building Better Schools program, to be done concurrently with the $6 million revitalisation project.
The next stages of the master plan will be considered in consultation with the school community.