Take a look inside Murray Bridge High School’s new Sturt Building
Exclusive: The finishing touches are being put on the $20 million middle school at MBHS as 2022's year seven and eight students arrive for transition days.
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When 430 new students start at Murray Bridge High School next year, this is where they will spend their days.
The school’s $20 million Sturt Building was pretty well finished by the start of this week, just in time for year six and seven students from around the Murraylands to visit for their transition days.
Prospective students found out which classes and “neighbourhoods” they will be in, and who their teachers will be.
But perhaps most tantalisingly, they became the first to check out the new facilities.
Principal Ruth Mussger said she wanted to make students would be able to transition to high school as smoothly as possible.
“Students get anxious about who’s going to be in their class and who their teacher is going to be,” she said.
“We’ve done all that work ahead of time … (so) they will know all that.”
She hoped they had been as excited as she was to take a look around.
The lower level of the building feels for all the world like an airport arrivals/departures lounge.
It features a giant TV screen at one end and tiered seating and a stage at the other, so students can assemble to watch performances or videos.
All around the main hall will be specialised areas for Aboriginal and inclusive education, robotics, the school’s breakfast club and other activities.
Upstairs the vibe is more like a university campus, with lockers, break-out rooms and study nooks scattered everywhere.
Each of the four student neighbourhoods – Wirakuthi, Ponde, No:ri and Kungari – will occupy a different corner of the building, with two year eight and two year nine classes in each corner.
Current students have designed and made signs in the shape of the four Ngarrindjeri ngatjis, or totems, for which the neighbourhoods were named.
But it would be up to next year’s students to decide how to make each neighbourhood look different, Ms Mussger said.
The building’s ceiling features noise-minimising baffles arranged in the shape of the River Murray.
Its construction materials, such as cork, were chosen to dull the sound of hundreds of students to a moderate level.
Outside are two sensory gardens and a yarning circle, where the school’s new fire pit will go.
The double cohort of students will be the biggest intake in the school’s history.
The school will get plenty of new teachers as well, of course, including some from Murray Bridge North School, a couple from Jervois and a few recent graduates with fresh ideas.
Funding for the new middle school building was announced way back in 2017 as part of the state government’s Building Better Schools program, and included in the 2019 state budget.
Construction has been underway since early 2020.
The project inspired a new brand for the entire school, with the motto “the future is ours” and a focus on MBHS’ modern strengths.
More information: www.mbhs.sa.edu.au.