Upper Mount Gravatt State School Opens New Learning Centre to Replace Fire-Damaged Building

The Upper Mount Gravatt State School has officially opened a new two-storey learning centre more than two years after a devastating fire destroyed the very old, historical E Block building.

In August 2021, students in Prep, Year 1, and Year 2 moved into the new $9.21-million facility but the school community only celebrated the re-opening with a program with special guests like Education Minister Grace Grace and Corinne McMillan MP in early November.

The new Junior Learning Block includes “The Fairway,” a garden open space for outdoor learning. It has six learning spaces for the older kids, four rooms for the prep students, two breakout spaces for students, a staff room, and an undercroft for more learning spaces, as needed.

Upper Mount Gravatt SS Principal Derek Brady said that these purpose-built facilities are a great addition to the school. Construction for the the Junior Learning Block was completed around July. 

“While it was a heartbreaking experience, the entire school community pulled together and even had temporary classrooms ready for the children to learn in just a few days later,” Ms McMillian said. “I know the Upper Mount Gravatt SS community really felt the loss of their beautiful old building.”  

“While the new facility will never replace the look and feel of a lovely old building, the new building has provided the school with some fresh, modern and state-of-the-art learning spaces, Ms McMillian added. “I am just so proud of everyone and couldn’t be happier to officially open this new state-of-the-art facility today.”

Upper Mount Gravatt State School: New Building Nears Completion

Construction of a new general learning facility at the Upper Mount Gravatt State School, which has been underway since October, is estimated to finish in May 2021. 

In October 2020, Upper Mount Gravatt State School announced that a new facility was in the works, setting itself up to provide the school with 10 new classrooms on top of shaded learning and play areas. 

The construction of the new facility, a general learning centre that would serve as an extension of the main campus, will be spearheaded by the project delivery company Wiley, who have been working on site since October. Completion of the project is expected to finish in May 2021. 

This new facility came about to replace the temporary classrooms the school had brought in using a crane following a fire on the 14th of June 2019 which ravaged the campus, destroying the books, possessions, and artwork of over 200 students. 

Through the combined efforts of six fire crews, the fire was under control in 90 minutes. Despite the swift response, much of the building had been destroyed, which led to the implementation of the aforementioned temporary classrooms to replace what had been lost in the fire. 

It only took the school two days to get classes up and running again. To this day, the cause of the fire remains a mystery, and both the police and the fire investigators have deemed it suspicious. 

The Upper Mount Gravatt State School is located at 1899 Logan Rd. For more information, visit their website here. Likewise, learn more about the project manager Wiley here. Follow the Facebook pages of both the school and Wiley for the latest updates and announcements concerning the new building. 

Replacement Classrooms Built After Fire Gutted UMG School Building

Upper Mount Gravatt State School reopened on 18 June, after a fire broke out and ravaged Block E on the night of June 14th 2019, thanks to the government teams and contractors that worked round-the-clock to build the new replacement classrooms in just two days.

Education Minister Grace Grace and Member for Mansfield Corrine McMillan commended everyone involved for all the hard work they have put in to make the rebuilding possible, which according to Minister Grace was nothing short of herculean.

“Work to clear the site and install temporary classrooms commenced as soon as the site was released by the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and the Queensland Police Service,” Ms Grace said..

“As a result, around 80 hours after the fire started students will be walking into replacement classrooms ready for another school day having missed only one day of school.

“I thank the teams at the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Public Works’ Building and Asset Services, as well as all the contractors who have worked around the clock to help get this school back on its feet.

Photo Credit: The State of Queensland (Department of Education) 2019 / https://upmtgravss.eq.edu.au

Principal Derek Brady said that students from classrooms in E Block will be provided with new book pack and the replacement classrooms will have new furniture as well.

“This incredible support for our school will ensure that we can get back to the business of education in a timeframe I didn’t think was possible just a day ago,” Principal Derek Brady said.

“Amazing” was how Mrs McMillan described the response from the southside community after her office put out a call on social media for donations of learning materials to replace the ones that were lost in the fire.

“These donations will further minimise the impact of the fire on students.”

Authorities are investigating the “suspicious” fire that gutted one of the Upper Mount Gravatt State School buildings and destroyed eight classrooms and supplies.

Anyone with information about the fire may contact Policelink on 131 444  or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000, or provide the information through the QPS online form.