Proving that schools are the cornerstones of our communities
The small town of Clifton Creek is located approximately 25 kilometres from Bairnsdale in East Gippsland. In the 2016 census, the Clifton Creek locality had a population of 237 people. The area is surrounded by farming land and alpine areas and were the scene of the devastating fires in December 2019.
Clifton Creek Primary School, which began in 1911 was destroyed on 31 December 2019. An outdoor stage and playground was all that remained of the school. In 2020, to get by the school has been using relocatable buildings to deliver lessons.
The school is an important part of the community and in January 2020, Dan Andrews committed to rebuilding it.
Architecture & Access has been working with AOA architects on the plans for the new school. The school is designed to have up to 50 children and includes general learning areas, a library and a staff centre. A separate building includes a kitchen and food preparation learning area is adjacent to the community garden. This building will also be used by the local community.
The teaching areas are designed to be flexible as numbers of students at the school can fluctuate. Some children travel to Bairnsdale for schooling, and it is hoped when the new school is completed more students will return.
Sustainable design is an important goal in this project for the community. Rammed earth walls, passive ventilation and solar energy have all been included in the design of the building.
The steep site which the school is located on has been challenging to achieve access for people with disability. The community garden and food preparation learning area is located 1.3 metres below the level of the main school building. A series of ramps achieves access from the car park and main building to the vegetable garden, kitchen and playground.
The project is currently out for tender and Clifton Creek will be eagerly awaiting construction of their new school buildings.