Lakeside school gets boost 

SPECIAL-NEEDS students at Gateshead’s Lakeside School are to benefit from a shift to a new school site with refurbished classrooms, as part of a $3million project.

The state government will use money left over from its federal Building the Education Revolution funds to transfer the 43 students from their Pacific Highway site to an upgraded Gateshead West school.

It will remove the children, who require significant support, from their decaying demountable classrooms and place them in accessible buildings at the larger site.

The federal government has signed off on the use of the money.

 The work will be done next year before the school transfers to its new home.

Gateshead West is already merging with Gateshead Public School.

Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell said Lakeside School originally shifted from Belmont North to its present Gateshead site in what was supposed to have been a temporary measure.

The planned move was a big boost for the school.

‘‘The current location is completely unsuitable for these children,’’ he said.

‘‘The buildings are deteriorating and the current site is too cramped.’’

Lakeside principal Darren Barnett said the demountables were rusting and lattice under them needed repairs.

The shift away from the highway would be particularly good news for the school.

‘‘It will be a quieter, peaceful site,’’ Mr Barnett said.

‘‘A lot of our students don’t understand road safety so this will alleviate that concern.’’

Among the upgrade work to the Gateshead West site would be the construction

 of a separate hydrotherapy spa room with a toilet and shower change area.

Bronwyn Giles, whose son Harry, 9, attends Lakeside, said she supported the move.

‘‘It’s great – it gets the kids away from the highway,’’ she said.

‘‘We definitely support the shift.’’

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