Stage 2 of West End State School Expansion Now Complete

Stage 2 of the West End State School expansion is now complete. The $34-million expansion added more than 2,000 students to the school’s enrollment capacity and provided 95 jobs to the community during its construction.

The project was unveiled last 16 September at a ceremony attended by Education Minister Grace Grace who confirmed that the state government has invested $55 million between Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the redevelopment. 

Ms Grace said that she was pleased that the project for West End State School delivered exactly what the department would like to ensure: Queensland students get a world-class education in state-of-the-art facilities.

West End State School expansion
Photo Credit: West End State School
West End State School expansion
Photo Credit: West End State School

Stage 2 of the expansion delivered a new 18-classroom learning facility with an undercroft and a resource centre building with staff and administration rooms. Furthermore, the project included the construction of a Performing Arts Centre with two music rooms, a 500-seater  auditorium, a car park and a commercial grade canteen for events and a tuckshop.

The project  delivered a new 18-classroom learning facility with an undercroft
The project delivered a new 18-classroom learning facility with an undercroft | Photo Credit: Queensland Government /
The project included the construction of a Performing Arts Centre with two music rooms and a 500-seater auditorium
The project included the construction of a Performing Arts Centre with two music rooms and a 500-seater auditorium | Photo Credit: Queensland Government /

“I also thank the P&C for their efforts in contributing around $290,000 to upgrade the canteen to a commercial grade kitchen, and to create a P&C office and uniform shop,” Ms Grace added.

West End State School expansion
West End State School expansion | Photo Credit: Queensland Government /

“This expansion also includes new greenspace including a playground area with tiered seating and shady trees and a second grassed oval for the school on Vulture Street.

“The Palaszczuk Government is all about creating good jobs and providing better services to enhance our great Queensland lifestyle, and this project has ticked all three boxes.”

Cox Architecture and Hutchinson Builders were awarded the contracts to deliver the project.

“I’m really grateful to the architects and builders who were very responsive throughout the process to the needs of our school community, which highly values creativity, flexibility and maximising the use of space to keep children active,” West End State School Principal Kim McNamara said.

West End State School Gets Keys to New L Block

West End State School (WESS) received the keys to its brand new learning centre following the completion of Stage 1 of its $25 million expansion. Principal Kim McNamara received the keys during the handover ceremony on 10 Aug 2020 from South Brisbane MP Jackie Trad.

Representatives of Cox Architects and Hutchinson Builder were also present during the handover. The school community collaborated with these builders for the design and planning of the school’s expansion. 

Photo Credit: West End State School Parents and Citizens Association/Facebook

The new learning centre, dubbed the L Block, is a three-storey building with 16 learning spaces, spacious outdoor areas and a new pick-up/drop-off zone.

Ms McNamara said that the completed section will help the school keep the students actively engaged in learning. Both the teachers and the kids have been keenly looking forward to using the facilities by the end of August.

Education MP Grace Grace also congratulated the school community for its new facilities. The construction and completion went ahead and made 100 jobs available to locals despite the threats of the coronavirus.

“This $25 million expansion has given students more room to play and learn,” Ms Grace said. “More than 300 Preppies & Year 1 students will move into the building at the end of August.” 

Photo Credit: West End State School/Facebook
Photo Credit: West End State School/Facebook

Meanwhile, the construction of Stage 2 is up next, according to Ms Trad. The project has an estimated 2022 completion. 

“Our government will be delivering the Stage 2 Expansion at WESS! This will see the construction of an additional learning centre, administration and library building, Performing Arts Centre and more greenspace,” the MP posted on Facebook. “This is huge news for our school community and something I have worked hard to deliver, alongside parents, staff and students. It’s also a vital investment that will create more Queensland jobs for construction workers and tradies as we unite and recover from COVID-19.” 

The school’s expansion is critical to the growing number of enrollees year after year. The state’s Department of Education acquired additional properties adjacent to the old WESS to accommodate the needs of the school community. 

West End State School Expansion Set to Start, Public Feedback Sought

A long-awaited change is soon to happen at West End State School (WESS).

After Christmas and during the holidays, demolition work will commence to make way for the expansion of West End State School.

Locals have long called for the expansion of the inner-city school. To realise this expansion, the State Government purchased the properties bounded by Horan, Ambleside and Vulture streets, just directly across the existing WESS campus.

While the properties on the expansion lot are being demolished, the planning and design team will work on the detailed design based on the master plan.

Addressing Enrolment Demand

WESS has seen strong enrolment growth in recent years. In that last 10 years, about 5,000 students have joined Queensland state schools in and around the inner city. The government expects to see over 3,000 new students moving into the Brisbane CBD area in the next five years.

At the moment, the West End school has more than 1,000 enrolled students. To accommodate additional enrolments, the government has chosen the Dutton Park Ecosciences Precinct as the site for the second inner-city south school. Another school is also being built in Fortitude Valley to address the enrolment demand in the inner north.

The project is part of the Queensland Government’s Building Future Schools Fund, which will inject over $800 million for new and growing communities.

Have Your Say on the Master Plan

The master plan calls for new school buildings on the purchased lot on Horan Street. These buildings will accommodate additional enrolments as well as specialised teaching spaces at WESS.

West End State School Master Plan
Photo credit: Queensland Government

In general, the master plan will include the following key elements:

  • Two general learning buildings
  • Administration and resource hub
  • Creative and performing arts
  • Undercroft areas to provide covered space
  • Additional open and green space
  • Demolition of properties acquired for the expansion
  • Possible closure of Horan Street between Ambleside and Vulture streets. These will be incorporated into the school grounds to provide additional outdoor space and ensuring student safety across the campus
  • Designated pick up/drop off zones

The development will come in stages, with Stage 1 set for completion in 2020. Completion of the first stage will increase the school’s capacity from 952 to 1,350. Stage 2, which should be completed in 2022, will increase capacity to 1,500 students.

Public consultation regarding the master plan will be open until Thursday 3 January 2019.

Complete the feedback form to have your say on the WESS expansion master plan.

West End State School to be Expanded, Two New Schools Opening in Inner City

Inner city Brisbane locals are soon to see their wish for additional schools become a reality, with two new schools set to be built and West End State School slated to be expanded.

The positive news was announced by the Queensland government, which is allotting $500 million for the three projects. This is in response to the clamour of parents in the inner city area for additional schools as current schools are over their capacity. The budget falls within the Building Future Schools Fund of the government.

Part of the plan is the use of the former site of Fortitude Valley State School, which was previously planned to be sold. A new school will be constructed on that site and classes should start by 2020. This school will be built in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology.

A new location is yet to be determined for the other new school planned to be built in the inner-south. This will be delivered with the help of the University of Queensland. Once built, it would become an alternative to Brisbane State High School.

West End State School will also receive funding for its expansion to accommodate an increasing number of students. The plan involves the purchase of a lot parallel to the school, on Horan Street. This lot will be used for the additional classrooms.

Responding to Population Growth

The $500-million fund is a direct response of the government to the long-standing education issue in the inner-city area.  Parents have been expressing concern over the inadequate number of schools to meet the demand of a growing population in the area.

The stronger demand for schools is a result of the rapid increase in the number of apartments in the area. In fact, a large number of students in the inner city area was found to be living in apartments.

Read:  West End Apartment Boom Causing Public School Overcrowding
Read:  How the Apartment Industry in West End is Causing Problems for Schools

Because of the lure of the inner city in terms of lifestyle and the quality of education, people from the outer suburbs are trading their houses for apartment life in the inner city.

Each of the two new schools will have a capacity of 1,200 to 1,500 students, while West End State School will increase capacity from 952 students to 1,500 students.