Iona College Prepares To Welcome Students From Darling Point Special School

Students from Darling Point Special School will be relocated to Iona College, as the construction of its new learning facilities gets underway.

Read: Darling Point Special School To Get a Major Makeover

At the start of Term 4 2022 (3 October 2022), more than 70 students from the special school will hold classes in portable classrooms, multipurpose rooms and amenities within the premises of Iona College. 

The temporary campus, to be provided by the Queensland Government, will be fenced and will include a play area, a car park, and a separate drop off and pick up area.

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The buildings will be located near the Iona College multi-purpose basketball courts adjacent to the bus turnaround.

Iona College Manager Corporate Services, Mrs Susan Boban, confirmed that when construction is completed at the special school, the temporary buildings will be removed, and the College site will be regenerated.

The redevelopment, which has been supported by the Department of Education to keep up with the school’s rising enrolment, is estimated to be complete in 18 months.

Plans for Darling Point Special School 

darlnt special school
Concept design of new Darling Point Special School learning centre (Photo credit: Queensland Government)

The school has partnered with the Queensland Government and Department of Education for the $15.86 million for the major transformation of the school. The redevelopment is known as the biggest revamp in the school’s 35-year history.

The works will include a new 15-classroom learning centre, a manual arts room, a multipurpose room, a staff collaboration room, and amenities and storage spaces.

“In recognition of a strong and longstanding relationship that exists between the two schools, Iona College will support the much-needed upgrade by providing the green space required for the temporary relocation,” Iona College announced.

Read: How St John Vianney’s Principal Challenges Community To Raise Funds For Student Needing Help

“This relocation is necessary as the Darling Point Special School site is not large enough to accommodate temporary buildings.”

In respose, Darling Point Special School principal Charmaine Driver acknowledged the insight and generosity of Iona College rector Fr Michael Twigg, the college principal Trevor Goodwin, and the college board.

Darling Point Special School To Get a Major Makeover

Did you know that Darling Point Special School is about to have a major makeover?

To enable the school to keep up with rising enrollment, Darling Point Special school is up for a much-needed revamp. The school has submitted a development application to conduct a major makeover.

Funded by the state government to the tune of $15.8 million, the project aims to upgrade outdated facilities and deliver a new learning facility.

The new building will house not just new classrooms but will also include outdoor learning areas, a collaborative space for the staff, amenities, an undercroft, multi-purpose areas, and storage rooms. A new play area is also included in the redevelopment plan.

Barring any delays, the redevelopment should be completed by 2022. 

Meanwhile, in May 2021, another state government-funded project for the special school was completed which delivered two new learning spaces. The first learning space was the former chillout room and bathroom while the second learning area used to be a vacant area.

In 2020-2021, with its Renewing Our Schools program, the State Government has invested a total of $1.9 billion, delivering refurbished and new learning spaces. Of the 1,254 state schools that received these funds for new learning spaces and support facilities, 45 were special schools.

About Darling Point Special School

Founded in 1958 as the Darling Point Opportunity School, the school was demolished in 1985 to give way to the construction of a new school. It then re-opened in 1986 as Darling Point Special School.

Located at 368 Upper Esplanade, Manly, the school serves the suburbs of Manly, Cannon Hill, Chandler, Gumdale, Hemmant, Lindu, Lota, Murarrie, Ransome, Thorneside, Tingalpa, Wakerly, and Wynnum, as well as parts of Bulimba, Birkdales and Wellington.

The school provides special educational programs catering to students aged 5 to 18 who have intellectual disabilities, or significant delays in cognitive and physical development.