The Department of Education presented two options for the original Veresdale Scrub State School building, but members of the public asked about another, seemingly unconsidered option.
The Department presented two options: to restore the building at a cost of over a million dollars, or replace it with a new purpose-built structure costing over two million dollars.
However several people attending the community consultation session on Saturday 6 August suggested repurposing the original building and building the new structure elsewhere on the school grounds.
Rob McDougall attended Veresdale Scrub State School during his primary school years from 1965 to 1972.
He said although the Department has commissioned a structural report for the original building, it remains unclear what the problems are.
“We need to talk more to the engineers about that, they haven’t been upfront about what’s contained in the structural report,” he said.
He also criticised the Department of Education for not advertising the proposed changes to the building and community consultation sessions more widely.
The changes had been mentioned in school newsletters and in a letterbox drop to 400 homes in the school catchment area.
Mr McDougall’s memories of primary school are all contained in the original building.
“We attended all grades one through to seven in that one room – with one teacher,” he said.
“That was the classroom for all seven grades.”
There were 24 students at the school when Mr McDougall was there, with he and one other student in Grade Four.
“It varied, depending on how much it rained. Some families needed more help with the cattle, some kids would turn up on horseback, some on push bike, most walked.”
“These are great memories. There’s a lot of history in that building.”
The community consultation period for the future of the original Veresdale Scrub State School building ends on 14 August 2022.
Feedback can be provided online at veresdalescrubss.eq.edu.au.