Durack State School and Jamboree Heights State School are among nearly 100 Queensland state schools that have been damaged in Queensland’s dual disasters recently, with authorities now racing to repair facilities in time for the first day of school.
With the new school term scheduled to begin on 22 Jan 2024, repair works are ongoing to ensure that every school is ready for the return of students.
Durack State School and Jamboree Heights State School were among the casualties as roofs were ripped off and trees crashed into classrooms. Helensvale State School was hit particularly hard, with a tree causing substantial damage.
In some cases where classrooms and facilities are out of commission, demountable classrooms will be brought in as temporary solutions.
The scope of the repairs varies, from simple flood clean-ups to long-term rebuilding efforts on sections of buildings.
One school in Far North Queensland is experiencing a particularly tight race against the clock to complete repairs.
While the cost of repairing the schools remains unknown, the state government has assured that no state school will suffer financially due to the storm damage.
Education officials confirmed that a total of 96 state schools had been damaged. About 35 schools were affected in South East Queensland, while the Far North bore the brunt with 61 schools in need of repairs.
Although acknowledging the extent of the damage, Helensvale State School Principal James Forrest expressed gratitude that the situation was not worse, considering the fallen trees scattered throughout the school grounds. Despite the challenges, the damaged building at Helensvale State School is expected to be unavailable for approximately the first three weeks of the school year.