GROWING SCHOOL: Oliver Veitch, St James Luthern College Principal Luke Schoff and Jessica Owens.
GROWING SCHOOL: Oliver Veitch, St James Luthern College Principal Luke Schoff and Jessica Owens. Cody Fox

Upgrades worth millions unveiled at Fraser Coast school

JUST in time for the students to return, one of the Fraser Coast's fastest growing schools is about to unveil the final stage of a multi-million dollar upgrade.

St James Lutheran College, the largest independent school in Hervey Bay, received a $1.5 million Federal Government funding boost through the Block Grant Authority to complete two major construction projects worth $3.7 million at the school.

The first stage - a $2.1 million expansion - was opened in May. It included an extension to the school's Learning Resource Centre, refurbishment of classrooms for Years 4, 5 and 6, and a new Student Amenities Block.

Next week, the students will return to find the $1.6 million 80-seat theatrette has been completed.

Tiered across two levels, it contains $65,000 worth of the latest audiovisual technology and equipment.

Four new senior classrooms have also been added to accommodate the growing number of students.

Two Hervey Bay companies, Keystone Architects and Torbay Constructions, were contracted to undertake the 700 square-metre project, providing employment for about 60 local people in the region.

The Hervey Bay school grew by 151 students between 2013 and 2018 - an increase of 33 per cent.

This rapid growth placed St James at third place on the list of the Fraser Coast's fastest growing schools.

Luke Schoff, St James' principal, said the school's state-of-the-art facilities and creative approach to learning made it a popular choice for parents and students. Mr Schoff said the threatrette would be another valuable asset for the school and its children.

"The theatrette will be used for performances by drama and film and TV students and whole of year student assemblies," he said.

"In 2020 we will have 694 students, so these new facilities are vital to cater for the projected future expansion of the school," Mr Schoff said.

"We have already applied to the Federal Government for a further $4.2 million grant to upgrade more facilities at the school to cater for an 11 per cent annual growth in student numbers."