Victoria’s first vertical state high school is set to welcome its first cohort of students next week.
Located in Richmond, the building is designed to meet the growing need for education in high-density areas.
Designed by architecture firm Hayball, Richmond High School is a $43 million vertical school that will open 30 January – just in time for the first term of the 2018 school year.
The school is being built over two sites and will cater for 650 students from grades seven to 12.
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News broke early last year that the Victorian government had somewhat ambitious plans to be ready for the 2018 school year, with a tight nine-month deadline.
“We promised a new high school for Richmond and from Term 1, 2018, local students will have access to the quality education they need,” Minister for Education James Merlino said.
Hayball director David Tweedie said vertical schools are the norm in dense cities like New York and Singapore, but it’s only recently that Melbourne has considered them as a means of catering to the growing urban population.
“With inner city living increasingly sought after, and a consequent demand for schools, we strongly believe vertical schools stand as an appropriate planning solution … a school is really a hub for its surrounding community – the two are really co-dependent.
“In both South Melbourne [Primary School] and Richmond High School, we’ve included a number of design features that embrace community engagement – and by placement of complementary programs such as sporting, performance, meeting, library and recreation spaces at accessible levels.”
The school will be opened in two stages, with the first cohort of Year 7 students starting in Term 1, 2018, at the Gleadell Street Campus.
The Griffiths Street Campus will open in Term 1, 2019 and will cater for the second cohort of Year 7 students and students moving into Year 8.
The Richmond High School upgrade is part of a $2.5 billion investment by Victoria’s Andrews’ Labor government.