Ipswich State High School principal Simon Riley inside the school's new STEM building. It is set to be finished for the start of the 2021 school year.
Ipswich State High School principal Simon Riley inside the school's new STEM building. It is set to be finished for the start of the 2021 school year.

New $7 million STEM building will offer the incredible

A NEW $7 million STEM building at the busy Ipswich State High School will be finished in time for students to use next year.

More than 35,000 man hours have gone into building the versatile and adaptable two-storey facility.

Students from Year 7 to 12 will use its 13 rooms to explore all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.
The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.
The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.
The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.
The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.
The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.
The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.
The building is set to be ready for the start of the 2021 school yeaar.

“The classrooms are single space, or double space or in one case even triple space,” principal Simon Riley said.

“The computer rooms lead into research spaces.

“The makerspaces downstairs have access to science labs, prep rooms and an outdoor testing space.

“Air ducts include air extractors. You’ll have 3D printers and plasma cutters going on as well.

“They’re adapting classrooms to suit the future knowledge, not so much the present knowledge. People don’t think the way they used to.”

Staff had a big say in the design of the building, right down to colour choices, with the project being delivered by Condev Construction.

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Tradies poured more than 1000 cubic metres of concrete with more than 526 workers playing their part since work started in May.

A handful of students picked up full-time gigs after working on-site.

A partnership between the school and a robotics company is just one example of what is to come; the new facilities provide the opportunity for students to do the incredible.

“One of our plans is to make an artificial hand, 3D print it and then kids will be able to program them to make them work,” Mr Riley said.

“I think it’s a spectacular building.

“It’s a huge asset.”

Ipswich State High School will have more than 2000 students next year and the new building will go a way towards housing them all.

There isn’t enough space at the moment.

Another teacher or trainer is already needed with the successful training trade centre at capacity.

“We’ve got more kids than we’ve actually got spaces for,” Mr Riley said.

“We’re slowly catching up.

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“We’ve still got one indoor sports hall which is non-compliant for 2000 kids.

“I’ve been reliably told by my regional director that we’re right at the top of the list for the next major build for the next financial year so I’m hoping something starts mid-2021.

“We do have a four-year masterplan with another three buildings on top of that.

“So if the whole thing gets funded over that $27 million masterplan for four years, that will bring us to 2400 kids at 2024.”

Mr Riley said his Year 7 cohort for 2021 will be more than 300 but he was expecting an influx of new students in the new year.

“Every school is saying the same thing to me; they’re all finding it very hard to encourage people to enrol,” he said.

“We’re very slow and I don’t know whether it’s down to messages about how you can’t go into schools (with COVID-19 restrictions).”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.here


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