by – Peppi Bueti
The $1.5 million Bli Bli State School hall extension and refurbishment program is one step closer to completion thanks to the generous support of the school’s P&C as well as long term members of the local business community.
School principal Gerard Quinn said back in 2015 a combined school and P & C project list was established following consultation throughout the school community and by 2017 a full extension and refurbishment of the hall had risen to the top of the list.
Today as the finishing touches of the hall nears completion, Mr Quinn looks back fondly on the project which can now accommodate over 1000 people and host a range of indoor and outdoor events for the school as well as the broader community.
“We were fortunate to receive a Government Grant for $515,000 and that has been matched by the school’s hard working P&C along with local business identities including Roz and Michael White from Whites Supa IGA and Bli Bli Village, Ed and Natasha Hackenberg from Ray White Bli Bli as well as the developers of Parklakes 1 and 2 Peter Shadforth and Robert Flipp.
“The Bli Bli Community Association, chaired by Chris Baker, have also been with us all the way and it’s that level of support which has helped us to fund a state of the art performance stage and audio visual, dual directional performance mode suitable for inside the hall audience and out the rear stage to an open air amphitheatre,” Mr Quinn said.
While the school hall is fully functional, future funding is currently underway to finesse aspects of the facility by undertaking a sound dampening upgrade, the purchase of bulk collapsible chair trolley for under stage as well as AV equipment for music and general learning spaces.
Mr Quinn said that Bli Bli State School had prospered significantly thanks to the ongoing support of the White, Hackenberg, Flipp and Shadforth families who have all had a long-term association with the Bli Bli area.
“We’ve seen Bli Bli progress at a rapid rate over the past decade and these families have been at the forefront of this change. There is no doubt that the community will continue to grow so it’s pleasing that these local businesses see fit to invest in the local school not just financially but with their time, knowledge and expertise.
“Our student numbers continue to increase year on year and we expect to continue to grow well past our 800 students in the next few years. The school hall is an important facility for our school as it hosts sporting events, cultural events, graduations and assemblies as well as concerts and a school musical every second year. This year’s musical ‘Shine Your Own Way’ has been written by the students of Bli Bli State School and will be performed by over 150 students on 9th and 10th of September.
“The hall plays an important role in bringing our students, teachers and staff together while also opening up the school to the broader community which helps us to future proof the school for generations to come,” Gerard said.
To contribute to the Bli Bli School hall redevelopment contact Kyla Bonney (Acting Principal) at Bli Bli State School or email firstname.lastname@example.org.