School set for $8.5 million refurbishment
LAIDLEY State High School will receive an $8.5 million overhaul to relieve capacity strains and drastically improve facilities.
The construction of the school's first two-storey building and 10 new classroom spaces will start in December and be completed in time for the 2020 school year.
Laidley has just over 700 students and expects to be close to the enrolment cap of 742 next year.
When the new buildings are completed the school's cap will sit at around 900.
The first set of full cohorts in all six years of secondary schooling will come through the state system in 2020 after a "half-cohort" of graduates next year.
Queensland's high school population will rise by 17,000 as a result and the State Government has set aside $250 million to expand schools.
As a part of the works at Laidley, Clarice Ferrari Hall will encompass a new drama classroom with tiered retractable seating to enable the venue to be used as an extension of the existing school hall or as a presentation venue for 150 people.
The current industrial design and technology facility will be extended to incorporate an engineering workshop, a construction courtyard and a STEM smart lab.
The upgrades will form the Laidley State High School Trade Centre.
Existing classrooms within that space will be upgraded to deliver additional woodwork, metalwork and furnishing subjects.
A new senior science laboratory will extend the existing science building.
The school's first two-storey building will incorporate music classrooms with a recording studio and practice room.
It will also include film, television and new media spaces with a green room for video overlay, a dance classroom with special flooring and a senior hospitality kitchen.
The car park on Edward Street will be upgraded to include a disabled transport pick-up point and a covered walkway to the hall entrance.
Principal Michael Clarkson, who has been in the role for the past 13 years, is excited about the refurbishments ahead.
"My projections at this stage indicate that by about 2022 we're going to be fairly close to being full again," Mr Clarkson said.
"This certainly isn't the last buildings that I hope happens at Laidley State High School.
"I've been working on this plan for quite some time and to be able to end up with 10 new classrooms of which nine have a specialist purpose is a real asset to our school.
"I know our students and staff and community when they see them are going to be absolutely blown away."