The School for Student Leadership, which operates the Snowy River Campus at Marlo, known to many as the Coastal School, is expanding.
A new campus is nearing completion in the Yarra Valley at the small hamlet of Don Valley.
And a local educator has been appointed to lead that new campus.
“We are delighted to announce Michael Heyne has been appointed to lead the new campus of our school,” Snowy River Campus principal Mark Reeves announced last week.
“We have undertaken an extensive search and recruitment process which resulted in international and national responses. We were quite amazed and overwhelmed at the level of interest.
“Against this competition, we have found the right person, an outstanding educator and an educational leader. Michael is also a very fine young man and thoroughly respected member of the East Gippsland community.”
The new campus, known as Don Valley Campus, will open in early 2021 with students and schools already allocated to that program from across Victoria.
It is the fourth campus in this expanding State Government education sector.
The first campus at Dinner Plain, The Alpine School, opened in 2000. Orbost students were pioneers in that program.
The second campus, Snowy River Campus at Marlo, opened in 2007. The third is Gnurad-Gundidj Campus Glenormiston opened in 2009.
The school began an international operation in 2014 in southern China. This is currently in abeyance due to travel restrictions from COVID-19.
Nearly every local secondary college in the East Gippsland region has participated in all campuses over the past 20 years, including China.
The new campus has been designed by Maddison Architects. Peter Maddison will be known to many as the face of <I>Grand Designs Australia<P>.
“While the new school is not a grand design in the sense of the TV show, it is a grand and magnificent $8m project,” Mr Reeves said.
“It is in a beautiful location in the Yarra Valley near Warburton. It features an operable roof, responds to the potential fire risk in a sensitive and safe manner and has a state-of-the-art computer technology.
“It accommodates 45 students in two separate accommodation wings. It will have access to many of the Yarra Ranges natural assets for expeditions, river activities and mountain bike riding.
“Importantly, the new campus is deemed critical infrastructure by the State Government. As a result, construction will continue unabated through stage four restrictions. The project completion date is still December 15, 2020.”
Mr Heyne said it was a great honor and privilege to be part of the “amazing school”.
“The work that is does in particular for regional Victoria is fantastic,” he said.
“I am excited to be the leader of this new campus and add value to the lives of young Victorian students, as well as the communities in the Yarra Valley.”
“The appointment of Michael Heyne is a great outcome for our school. Michael is clearly the best applicant from a large pool,” Mr Reeves said.
“He has proven himself as an educational leader in many large and complex schools in Melbourne. He has also shown his capabilities working in our international setting in China.
“This project has been deemed critical infrastructure by the Government so will continue through stage four as normal. We may encounter minor delays due to the availability of materials and trades due to the lockdown but we are still anticipating and working to deliver the project by the end of this year or early next year in time for the school to open in term one.”