NAME CHANGE: Suggestions are being taken for the name of the proposed new public high school in Ballina.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate
NAME CHANGE: Suggestions are being taken for the name of the proposed new public high school in Ballina.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate Graham Broadhead

Plenty of homework to be done on Ballina's super school

COMMUNITY consultation for the new $40 million high school in Ballina is still under way.

Announced by the State Government in February last year, the new school would cater to about 1000 high school students from both Ballina High School and Southern Cross K-12.

It will be built on the existing Ballina High School site and is expected to be ready to open in term one, 2019.

Ballina High School principal Danny Henman said teams were currently working on a name for the new school, as well as uniforms, procedures and policies.

"We've got teams working on trying to coordinate what the name will be and working with community members and across both sites to come up with a new name for the school," he said.

"We've got another group working on uniforming for the school and what colours they'll use and what the uniforms might look like.

"Both schools are working towards trying to put procedures in place based around schools policies so that when we do start merging the students together, the school's ready to run without having to try to scramble without having to get all those things in place."

Mr Henman said any new proposals for the school would be put to the public for feedback and consensus before being implemented.

He said the consolidation of the high schools would allow for a wider curriculum and new, central resources.

When the new school was first announced there were reports some parents were opposed to the merger, which was perceived by some as being racially motivated.

But Mr Henman said little, if any, of the opposition remained.

"I think it's alleviated a lot," he said.

"The parents of both schools seem to be working together really well, the staff are certainly pulling together and working really well and I think everyone can see this is going to be a really good thing for Ballina."

Due to the extensive works required to upgrade and refurbish the existing Ballina High School infrastructure, it was determined more cost effective to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with new ones.

By moving Year 7 to 12 students from the Southern Cross campus to the new Ballina high school, more space could be made to cater for the rapidly growing Distance Education Centre and kindergarten to Year 6.

The Department of Education has appointed EJE Architects to develop draft concept plans for the new school.