Construction and refurbishment works are under way at the new Goolwa High School

Works under way: David Basham MP and Principal Rebecca Moore are guided through the new GHS site by architect Simon Frost and project manager Ben Tonkin. Photo: Jack Manning.
Works under way: David Basham MP and Principal Rebecca Moore are guided through the new GHS site by architect Simon Frost and project manager Ben Tonkin. Photo: Jack Manning.

Construction and refurbishment works have begun at the site of the new Goolwa High School, set to open to students in 2022.

Located at the former Investigator College site on the corner of Cadell Street and Glendale Grove, the high school will initially accommodate 400 students, with the capability to expand in line with anticipated growth in the region.

Up to $10 million is being invested into the project by the state government to ensure the school is ready to welcome students from Term 1 next year.

Builders and architects have been on site for about a month and with works now set to ramp up, Member for Finniss David Basham and Goolwa High School (GHS) Principal Rebecca Moore visited the site for a tour last week.

Mr Basham said it was exciting to see the progress occurring at the new school.

"We can very much see the vision of where this project is heading. It's quite surprising to see the changes being made and it's exciting for Goolwa to see the opportunities it presents," Mr Basham said.

Concept designs: A brand new entry way will be constructed at Goolwa High. Photo: Greenway Architects.

Concept designs: A brand new entry way will be constructed at Goolwa High. Photo: Greenway Architects.

"As someone who originally lived this side of Middleton, I would often watch the Goolwa high school students hop on the bus as I once did to head to Port Elliot Primary School.

"Forever, people have had to leave Goolwa to head to school, so this will provide a great opportunity for them to stay in town."

The build aims to create a "learning village environment" and build on existing structures to create contemporary and modern teaching spaces.

Greenway Architects Director Simon Frost said the site provided both challenges and opportunities.

"It's been fascinating to work through crafting an existing environment into a contemporary teaching environment for current standards," Mr Frost said.

"Creating a real village type environment is something a smaller community like Goolwa can embrace enthusiastically."

Mr Frost said designs focussed on embracing the local environment, with one highlight being a digital printed carpet portraying Goolwa and the Coorong.

On the tools: Goolwa High School Principal Rebecca Moore and Member for Finniss David Basham try their hand at ongoing refurbishment works. Photo: Jack Manning.

On the tools: Goolwa High School Principal Rebecca Moore and Member for Finniss David Basham try their hand at ongoing refurbishment works. Photo: Jack Manning.

Principal Rebecca Moore said the Goolwa High team were excited to get to work.

"Parents will have access to the enrollment process very shortly and the vision for the school is to really reflect an innovative and contemporary approach to teaching and learning," Ms Moore said.

"Lots of the spaces are flexible for collaboration between groups of students and teachers and the building itself allows lots of natural light and flow between interior and exterior spaces. In particular, the science and arts buildings are receiving significant refurbishment.

"We are looking forward to being on site in office spaces in about a month to further our connections with the Goolwa community and continue working alongside local primary schools and education leaders in the region."

Schiavello Construction are responsible for works at the site and Project Manager Benjamin Tonkin said the works would be complete by October 2021.

"It's really exciting for us to have a regional project and given what this is going to do for the community, it's also good for us to invest back into the community by getting trade contractors on board and including them in the project," Mr Tonkin said.

"We have been reaching out with expressions of interest and it's important we get local contractors actively involved and excited about this project."

Mr Tonkin said the project was fundamentally a refurbishment, but included the construction of a number of new structures, including a brand new entry way to the school.

"Decisions have been made to provide open collaboration learning, so a lot of the work is about really opening up spaces and providing room for the kids to learn in," he said.