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About Us - A Short History

Consolidation of the rural schools surrounding the Alvie area was discussed as early as 1949.  After much discussion, the Education Department finally ruled that it be established at Alvie. In 1950 about 11 acres of land was bought from Mr. George Buckle at a price between 100 and 125 pound per acre.  This land, together with the adjoining 3 acres of the Alvie State School land amounted to almost 15 acres. The surrounding schools were closed over several years         between 1951 and 1953, attending students were bussed to Alvie.

These schools were:

* Wool Wool No. 4014 

* Cororooke No. 2819

* Dreeite No. 3915

* Alvie No. 3038

* Dreeite South No. 4274

* Ondit No. 2106

* Dreeite North No. 4172

* Balintore No. 4061

* Warrion No. 1308 

Classes were held in shockingly primitive conditions, in the local hall and in the dilapidated buildings, which after being    uprooted from the above mentioned sites (between 1952 and 1954), were dumped close to each other at Alvie.  The      buildings leaned and few doors would shut and windows were either jammed open or shut.  Pupils and teachers huddled over smelly kerosene heaters.  A quagmire surrounded each room.  Second hand bricks were used to make paths             connecting the various rooms but the mud was too thick in parts that several layers of bricks were needed.  Tractors and bulldozers reared and scraped around the site.  A local councilor described the whole thing as a “dump”.

A tremendous amount of credit must be given to Mr. Victor McDougall who  coordinated the efforts of builders, pupils, teachers and parents and somehow transformed the whole mess into a school. By 1954 the buildings had been straightened out and joined with corridors.

The Alvie Consolidated School was officially opened by the Honorable J.S. Bloomfield MLA in 1957.  A large group of interested parents and local identities watched him insert the key and open the front door.  A bronze plaque on the wall near the front office marks that occasion. Pupils’   enrolments increased until almost 400 were attending the     classes, ranging in age from below five years to sixteen years. In addition to the usual primary classes, childrencould progress through  secondary or post primary courses, as far as the Intermediate Certificate in Form 4.  Subjects of special interest included cookery and domestic        science, agricultural science,  woodwork, sheet metal, typing and office routine, art, bookkeeping and social studies.  All of these courses were specially designed to assist the students   towards full life in the local community. In time, the numbers of students        declined.  Smaller families became the rule. Many small farms were bought out and               amalgamated  into larger holdings.  Seasonal workers found it difficult to obtain jobs as mechanization of farm operation progressed. By the end of 1965, the post primary classes were terminated because it became            uneconomical to maintain a team of specialist teachers to educate a mere 25 pupils above Grade 6. In 1980, the Dreeite, Wool Wool and Ondit school buildings were demolished.

In 1981, the Education Department decided that the buildings which formed the Alvie Consolidated School were not an economic prospect for cyclic maintenance and upgrading.  As a consequence, the decision was made by the Regional Office, in consultation with the School Council, to demolish most of the existing buildings and  replace them with a    modern relocatable Modular Unit type complex.

In the new complex the only remaining original school buildings are the canteen (Alvie) and the art room (Warrion).  These buildings were given to the School Council to update and maintain.  Now  referred to as the North Wing, (along with the music room and library), it was upgraded in the early 1990’s.

The Wetlands area was developed on 3 acres of grassland at the Eastern boundary of the school in the early 1990’s, as part of the Triennial Review, comprising of a pond, bridge, bird hides and numerous plantations of  native vegetation.

The extensive gardens surrounding the buildings have won a number of awards throughout the years.  In 1986 Alvie     Consolidated School won a regional and state Award, a feat repeated in 1996.  In 1995 they were  awarded a Merit Certificate.

At the beginning of 2000, the Education Department relocated two of the  portable classrooms due to declining student numbers. This area was renovated with a sail shade cloth and lawn area for the student’s recreation. The school continues to provide inspired learning to  students in magnificent rural settings.