FROM THE ASHES: $6.7m rebuild begins at Warwick East
MORE than a year in the making, Warwick East State School has officially begun the "emotional" process of rebuilding their burnt down learning centre.
Work has started on the $6.7 million building that will replace the heritage-listed admin block that was destroyed in a fire in July last year.
Principal Marina Clarke said she was heartened to take this positive step forward after a year of setbacks for the school community.
"What a year it has been - drought, this fire and COVID-19," she said.
"The fact that we are now a step closer to the construction of our new building is a huge boost to morale for the whole community, and a new start after what have been challenging times."
The building, on a heritage site, had special consideration to fit it into the existing environment, while adding classrooms to support a student increase.
"The building that was lost was incredibly old and filled with a lot of memories for staff and students past and present, many of whom came to see the building before it was knocked down," Mrs Clarke said.
"It has been emotional for all of us, not only because of the danger and the frightening situation of evacuating all our staff and students, but also for the memories and resources lost in the flames.
"I'm pleased to say that the design of the learning centre is modern, yet respectful to the age of the school, one of the oldest in Queensland."
Education Minister Grace Grace said the project was expected to be finished in Term 2, 2021.
"It was a dark day for the Warwick East State School community last year when their beloved school building burned to the ground," Ms Grace said.
"The admin block was one of the oldest buildings in Warwick, housing two classrooms, a computer lab and staffroom. (The new building) will include the same facilities as the old building as well as an undercover area."
This project will also support 20 jobs while in the construction phase.
The new two-storey centre will replace the temporary buildings that have been used by the school over the past year.