IT was a battle that took almost three years but Nashdale Public School is finally ready to celebrate the official opening of two new buildings constructed under the federal government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER).
In 2009 when P & C president June Coleman discovered the school would receive just one double classroom with the $907,000 funding it received, she was shocked.
“The money was just being abused,” she said.
“That didn’t include heating or cooling or anything like that, so we started to ask some questions.”
Mrs Coleman said the East Orange Public School received the same type of classroom for just $535,000 a year earlier.
Under the BER stimulus program, contractor Laing O’Rourke would construct the classroom, with no option for the school to choose a local contractor who could complete the work for a better price.
“We were ropeable, the school community was being ripped off,” Mrs Coleman said.
In early 2010, Mrs Coleman told the Central Western Daily it was an obscene waste of money, with a quarter of the costs being eaten up by design and management fees.
School principal Neil Hooper said while the BER was a good idea it was important the school received good value for money in any building works.
Since then, the school battled for a better outcome, with the matter being heard at a NSW inquiry into the BER scheme.
Laing O’Rourke was removed from the project in June 2010.
Dubbo builder Rawson Homes won the tender to complete the double classroom.
Mr Hooper said with the $300,000 left over they were able to have a new administration building constructed at the school.
“It’s the first brick and tile building opened [at the school] since 1969,” Mrs Coleman said.
Along with the two BER buildings, a new library and remodelled multi-purpose room, both completed with unrelated funding, will also be officially opened this Saturday.
NSW Senator Matt Thistlethwaite will do the honours at 2pm this Saturday.