Preschoolers help design $1.8m facility

NEW PRESCHOOL: Moorak preschool students Charlotte Wooldridge and Harrison Woolridge (far right) discuss the new facility with Reception students Eva Scheidl and Cruze Sutherland.

By Raquel Mustillo

MOORAK’S youngest students will soon see their ideal preschool come to life following the construction of a $1.8m purpose-built facility at the primary school.

The State Government has allocated funds to Moorak Primary School to deliver a modular preschool facility and outdoor play area – designed with the assistance of last year’s preschool students – which will include a bike path, sensory trail and kitchen garden.

The facility will be co-located with the school and will also include activity areas, withdrawal space, a kitchen, administrative support areas and toilet amenities.

Moorak Primary School principal Peter Mitchinson said the major redevelopment was initially floated in 2016 following increasing preschool enrolments.

Mr Mitchinson said the department had considered refurbishing the existing building at a cost of approximately $400,000, but ultimately decided to construct brand new facility.

“Our preschool numbers were very high and one year we had to get special permission to allow two more kids in because the official capacity of the room was full,” he said.

“It was at that point I spoke to the Minister and thankfully he agreed we would be better with a new facility.”

Mr Mitchinson said preschool students took an active role in providing feedback to architects, who used the ideas generated in brainstorming sessions to create the outdoor play area.

“The students told the architects the things they liked most about preschool, whether it was the swings, trees and tunnels, and the architects put the ideas into the design,” he said.

“A lot of the times student spaces are designed by adults and this was a way we were able to find out what the students liked the most so they could have the best experience.”

Reception students Eva Scheil and Cruze Sutherland, who were among the preschool students who helped design the facility, said they were excited to see their designs come to life.

“We wanted a swing because we only had a tyre swing,” Eva said.

“There is going to be big swing in the new preschool.”

Education Minister John Gardner said the building was currently anticipated for completion in December 21.

“Preschool is such an important part of a child’s educational journey and successful transition into school, so I’m excited to see this preschool facility at Moorak Primary School take shape and for children and their families to enjoy these wonderful new facilities from next year,” he said.

“We are committed to delivering a world-class early learning system that is tailored to the needs of South Australian children and their families.”