Touch of Swan Hill in Ballarat school

Swanbuild is on the verge of constructing government schools after successful building transportable schools in the Catholic system for the past three years. Picture: PETER BANNAN

Swanbuild is on the verge of constructing government schools after successful building transportable schools in the Catholic system for the past three years. Picture: PETER BANNAN

Swanbuild production manager Josh Perryman and general manager Craig Perryman showed Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh around a modular school they are building for a school in the Ballarat suburb of Lucas. Picture: PETER BANNAN

Swanbuild production manager Josh Perryman and general manager Craig Perryman showed Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh around a modular school they are building for a school in the Ballarat suburb of Lucas. Picture: PETER BANNAN

​LOCAL tradies are building a new school for Ballarat in Swan Hill.

Swanbuild is currently working on stage two of Siena Catholic Primary School at its Karinie Street yard.

The school is located at a new residential estate in Lucas, 282km south of Swan Hill. 

The modular school building, comprising six classrooms and an art area, is built in one piece and transported on four trucks in 18 different sections.

Swanbuild delivered the stage one building last year. 

Murray Plains MP Peter Walsh toured the factory last week, as the business vies for accreditation to deliver modular school buildings for the government sector. 

"This visit goes back to a meeting I had with Justin Lloyd [retired Bendigo principal] in Echuca last year about how the government can get better value of of the school building program," Mr Walsh said.

"They can build new schools for better value than on-site, and from an on-site point of view you don't have disruptions to students."

Mr Walsh said the visit formed part of his research to feed information back to the government education system.

Swanbuild general manager Craig Perryman said the business had grown by 64 per cent in the past 12 months, partly attributed to school buildings. Local tradespeople and materials are also sources, keeping jobs in the region. 

Stage one of the project in Lucas, delivered last year, comprised 11 sections and was successfully transported despite the wettest year on record.

"Despite the wet weather we still maintained the project in the build timeframe because it was built off-site and then put into place in Ballarat," Mr Perryman said. 

He said the company was able to tap into the school builds through demand.

"We completed a number of school buildings in Bendigo through the Catholic education and by word of mouth it has really grown," Mr Perryman said.

Swanbuild recently purchased land at the rear of the existing property, virtually doubling the size of their land. 

Mr Walsh said the company "desperately" needed a new Swan Hill bridge so they could transport buildings into New South Wales.

Mr Lloyd said there would be 90,000 more children in schools in five years than today. 

"The education system has no choice but to accommodate more children," he said.

Mr Lloyd said Lucas, which had a population of 1014 at the 2016 census, had a unique planning model. 

"Whoever was in charge of town planning gave it community infrastructure before people moved in with a shopping centre, community centre, childcare and school," he said.

"If you build it, people will come, but if the facilities aren't there people will travel elsewhere.

"People want lifestyle living where they live."



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