Yesterday’s news that both Armidale High School and Duval High School will make way for a super-school in the city generated a strong reaction.
It is not surprising that views will be split on the issue. There have already been debates that consolidating our public education facilities into one super-school is beneficial to our students, while others argue that maintaining the status quo with the separate schools is preferable.
Both schools have a rich history, and have an alumni to be proud of. And emotional attachments to both facilities is understandable.
The super-school proposal, and its long list of features, has generated excitement among those who favour the development.
Under the new proposal, a full curriculum high school will provide for students every secondary subject, along with modern laboratories for science and design and technology.
There will also be full wifi and technology integration, enabling teachers to embed technology innovations into classroom practice, as well as vocational education facilities to better prepare students for the workforce. Other features for the super-school will be multipurpose performing and recording spaces, and new and upgrade sporting fields and courts.
Armidale Regional Council’s administrator, Ian Tiley, was quick to congratulate Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall yesterday.
He said Mr Marshall fought hard to secure this project and that his advocacy and persistence over recent months should be applauded by the Armidale regional community.
Mr Marshall himself described the Armidale super-school as a once in a generation opportunity to boost student educational outcomes and offer a premium public education product for the entire region for decades to come.
Despite the promise of a great facility, our community will still feel the loss of the two schools.
Many local residents attended school there over the years, and those schools are places where longtime friendships were formed and a lot of memories were made.
While we welcome the investment in Armidale education, we also appreciate that these decision will affect many people, as they see the loss of a place that was a big part of their lives, or their children’s lives.