Highfields students and the community will have more opportunities to get involved in sport and the performing arts following the completion of the new $2.6 million Highfields State School multipurpose auditorium and the $1.5 million new Resource Centre.
State Member for Toowoomba North, Kerry Shine MP, who opened the state of the art hall and resource centre, said the new hall and centre were a joint effort. The Bligh Government contributed $584,000 through the Major Facilities Program and $515,000 through the Education Queensland Smart Schools Subsidy Scheme, while the Australian Government provided $3 million through the Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21) element. A further $18,000 came from Progressive Community Crow’s Nest Ltd (from profits of the Highfields Heritage Community Branch), which funded the stage curtain, and $10,000 from Toowoomba Regional Council to fit out the kitchen.
In officially opening the centre, Mr Shine paid special tribute to the school and the P&C committee which contributed $200,000 to the project. He made special mention of Mrs Bronwyn Cairns for her tireless work towards seeing the ‘SmartSpace’ become a reality.
Mr Shine said “The new facility will allow more effective delivery of the current school Physical Education program, including gymnastics, structured dance, skipping, ball skills, handball and aerobics and allow for expansion of the program in the future.”
The auditorium has two music rooms, a full stage and wings, seating for 800 people and a 600 square metre sports floor, whilst ancillary buildings house the library and resource centre. Highfields State School Principal Warren Merchant described the project as ‘brilliant’ and said it was a celebration of the partnership between school and community.
Sport Minister Phil Reeves has said the multipurpose auditorium will also be available for community groups to utilise, and Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson confirmed the stellar facility was not only for the students to pursue their passions in all fields of education but also for the wider community.