An investment worth millions will bring both Hastings Secondary College campuses in Port Macquarie into the 21st century and increase opportunities for young people in the community with the establishment of an Australia-first pilot PCYC partnership.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian with member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams made the commitment at the Port Macquarie campus on October 27 and unveiled artist's impressions of the college's transformation.
More than 1500 students across both Port Macquarie and Westport campuses are set to benefit with more classrooms, a new creative performance arts centre, technology enhancements and the establishment of a PCYC facility.
Works are expected to commence in January 2021 and be completed by day one of the 2023 school year.
College principal Meghan Cook said the upgrade will establish Hastings Secondary College as the centre of education excellence in Port Macquarie.
"This investment at in both campuses will enhance education delivery and provide a strengthened and structured transition pathway for all students," Ms Cook said.
She said the partnership with PCYC at the Westport campus is a win for the entire community.
"It will help extend our talented students in sport and athletics, but also importantly provide opportunities for disengaged students to be a part of valuable programs such as Live for Work and Live for Life," Ms Cook said.
The state-of-the-art multi-sports PCYC facility will provide two indoor competition courts for netball, basketball, futsal, badminton and volleyball.
Gymnastic facilities, a youth hub and multi-purpose activity spaces will be included.
Planning for the college's Westport campus includes the relocation of the school administration area and entry and the establishment of flexible learning spaces.
Chief executive for NSW PCYC Dominic Teakle said the joint model is a first for PCYC and the Department of Education.
"The school's needs are the priority and the key will be the flexibility offered to the greater community before and after school," Mr Teakle said.
"There is great synergy here and we've taken the leap. Our priority is to help reduce the disadvantage for young people and create an asset that can be used by the whole community."
The Premier said the NSW government is committed to delivering new and upgraded schools across the state, prioritising the needs of students in regional areas.
"Our aspiration is for every student no matter where they live or what their circumstances to have equality of opportunity, to have the best access to education, to go on and do what makes them happy and reach their full potential," Ms Berejiklian said.
"This is really a journey of passion and compassion for the school, not just bricks and mortar.
"The PCYC model was something Leslie Williams really pushed with us and we made it happen.
"The students will not only be the beneficiaries but continue to be the wonderful ambassadors of this school.
"No matter what a student does when they leave this place, when they say they've been at Hastings Secondary College, people will say what a great school.
"The upgrade is extremely major. It's an overhaul of the campus. This is a growing community and an important community.
"When you look at the difficult time we have had recently with droughts, bushfires and COVID, this community really stepped up and supported one another and the school community has really thrived during that process.
"In terms of world class facilities, we also want to make sure we not only have the best learning facility and the best learning environment, but also the best techniques in the classroom through opportunities and pathways whether it's linking up with TAFE or universities to make sure the experience for students is absolutely second to none."
Mrs Williams said she was excited to see the design plans and looks forward to work getting underway.
"We want our students to be inspired when they come to school and if these new images are anything to go by, the upgrade at Hastings Secondary College will do just that," Mrs Williams said.
The project will now progress to detailed designs, planning approval and construction tender.