Ararat West Primary School pupils close to move into new classroom block after fire claimed five buildings

Ararat West Primary School pupils are close to being able to move into their new classrooms just over eight months after a devastating fire.

On Friday, Ararat West Primary School Terry Keilar had hoped the new classroom complex at Kneebone Street would be ready for the starts of the new term.

The school posted an update on its Facebook page over the weekend that revealed a new delay as parents prepared to help set up the new classrooms.

“Whilst the school building itself is finished and ready for us to move in, there is still some work happening externally,” the school posted on Facebook. 

“Most specifically, there is storm water work being completed along with our new diesel pump shed.

“This means we won’t be in the new building for the start of the term. It is anticipated we will be in there during the second week. This is unfortunate but it also means we are getting everything done right.”

Fire investigators at the scene of Ararat West Primary School, where four classrooms caught fire in October. Picture: PETER PICKERING

Fire investigators at the scene of Ararat West Primary School, where four classrooms caught fire in October. Picture: PETER PICKERING

Mr Keilar said he wanted to thank schools in the region, the education department and the community for their “fantastic” help with the recovery,

“There’s some small things to do, some asphalt to put down, but we’re now just going through the defects list to make sure everything is right,” he said.

Ararat West lost four of its classrooms and another significant building after an early morning fire in October.

The school also lost educational materials and teachers’ personal possessions in the blaze.

Pupils had to move into a temporary school with Ararat College and support poured in from across western Victoria.

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino joins with CFA volunteers and Ararat West Primary School principal Tony Keilar and pupils in November. Picture: PETER PICKERING

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino joins with CFA volunteers and Ararat West Primary School principal Tony Keilar and pupils in November. Picture: PETER PICKERING

In November, Victorian Education Minister James Merlino announced $2.1 million in recovery funding for the school and a new modular building to replace Block B.

“We’re really happy with how it turned out; it’s a very open-plan environment with lost of flexible learning spaces,” Mr Keilar said.

“It’s bright with lots of colour and gives us the chance to be a bit creative.”

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