18 May 2020 News

Croydon Community School gets $18 million for relocation to old Melba College site

Story Credit: Kiel Egging, Maroondah Leader

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An artist’s impression of the new Croydon Community School. Picture: Crosier Scott Architects

The future of an abandoned former high school site in Croydon has been confirmed, with the State Government to pour millions into establishing a new base for a nearby alternative school. This is what’s in store.

A new $18.1 million home for the Croydon Community School is to be built as part of a major State Government investment.

The government today announced $438 million would be spent on building 10 new schools around the state, including the community school’s long-planned move to the former Croydon Secondary College site on Croydon Rd.

The site — which had been home to Melba College since 2011 after Croydon and Maroondah secondaries merged — was abandoned at the end of 2017 and demolition of its buildings began late last year.

Maroondah Leader revealed in December the school would eventually move to the site, easing neighbours’ fears of a new housing estate.

Croydon Community School offers an alternative to mainstream education for students aged 12-18, with personalised learning aligned with Victorian curriculum requirements.

Principal Bernadette Bowling said students from the school’s campus on Mt Dandenong Rd and its other campus in Bayswater would all be based at the new site.

Initial plans include science labs and home economics rooms with a kitchen garden, a music complex and a ‘town hall’ community space.

“It’s really exciting, we are looking forward to seeing the details,” Ms Bowling said.

“It will enable us to really upgrade our facilities and deliver a more comprehensive curriculum to young people.”

Ms Bowling said she was unsure when construction would begin.

Croydon state Liberal MP David Hodgett welcomed the announcement after years of advocacy for the school in parliament.

“Having worked hard to get the old buildings demolished and the site cleaned up at the former Croydon Secondary and Melba College site on Croydon Rd, I am now pleased to see that the land will continue to be used for education purposes,” Mr Hodgett said.

“I look forward to seeing the full details of the project and will continue to work with the Croydon Community School to see the project delivered.”

Eastern Metropolitan Region state Labor MP Sonja Terpstra said the project was “another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria”.

A building at the abandoned Melba College campus is demolished last year. Picture: Kiel Egging
A building at the abandoned Melba College campus is demolished last year. Picture: Kiel Egging
An artist’s impression of the new Croydon Community School. Picture: Crosier Scott Architects
An artist’s impression of the new Croydon Community School. Picture: Crosier Scott Architects