The Victorian Minister for Education, the Hon James Merlino MP, today announced the government’s partnership with Hayball to deliver another landmark education project. The Footscray Learning Precinct will be a national first in integrating learning at all levels. It’s an ambitious project with a long-term vision for world-class education in Melbourne’s inner west.
The precinct will create and link state-of-the-art facilities across Footscray, providing innovative and world-leading education from early childhood through to university, including adult education. This will provide unique and exciting learning options for students at all ages and all stages of their education. Hayball’s involvement will drive the masterplanning of three hubs across five separate sites to create an inherently linked education precinct.
Director Richard Leonard, who is at the forefront of innovative education design including Victoria’s first public vertical school, conducted a site tour for the Education Minister at today’s launch. Richard said that never before has Australia seen a learning precinct of this scale, linking preschool, K-12 and tertiary education spaces together across the three hubs.
“Bringing the concept of Smart City to Melbourne’s inner west, creating partnerships and links from education and community learning providers, the project will transform Footscray from an industrial city to a knowledge city.
“As the population grows, this precinct will provide a powerful solution to a series of educational and cultural challenges that are set to arise over the next 10, 20 and 30 years by offering shared spaces and services for students and the community alike,” he said.
Community integration is of utmost importance in a project like this, which must address the educational challenges of a difficult urban context. Schools such as Dandenong High School and Doveton College (Brand Architects) are shining examples of education campuses that have addressed complicated social settings with strategic design and community inclusion.
“We’re excited to more deeply explore the enormous breadth of design and research opportunities that lie ahead of us with the Footscray Learning Precinct,” said Richard.
More information: footscraylearningprecinct
Image: Director Richard Leonard (left) with the Minister for Education, James Merlino (centre) and the Minister for Industry & Employment and Minister for Resources, Wade Noonan (right).