Jake Bradford (left), Matthew Ambrose, Bree Trace, Nick Williams and Benny Wood at the new library.
Jake Bradford (left), Matthew Ambrose, Bree Trace, Nick Williams and Benny Wood at the new library. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

$3m library for Bay school

THERE is no doubt that when students, teachers, parents and community members walk through the doors of the Fraser Coast Anglican College’s new library they will be blown away.

The building is state-of-the-art, comparable to metropolitan university standards.

There are two levels to cater for the juniors and seniors with a plethora of study areas, conference rooms and, of course, books.

But what stands out the most is the access to wireless internet.

Portals are everywhere; on walls behind desks, on poles next to colourful couches and even on the floors beside book shelves, allowing students to use their laptops wherever they like.

To make the learning experience even better are “sound domes”.

The domes are clear and drop down from various points of the ceiling, directed to the student sitting below.

They allow audio to be focused in one area, explains principal Tony Wood, without disturbing others using the library.

If all of that is not enough to have you gasping, there are also video conference rooms, some of which seat up to 90 people and allow for conversations and learning with overseas institutions.

“I think we’ve got to think outside the square a bit,” Mr Wood said.

FCAC has certainly done that, with walls that fold to create larger teaching areas, tables that can be adjusted to suit different heights of users, a lift for disabled access to the second level and even a kitchen available for groups outside the school.

One of the stand-out features for the students will likely be the plasma televisions that adorn both levels, on which news programs will be aired in hives providing newspapers and magazines.

If people need to escape the indoors they can head to the “student piazza” where classes can be held in the open air under shade.

The library cost $3 million to build, with the funding falling under the Federal Government’s Primary Schools of the 21st Century program.

It is hoped it will be open for library classes next week; the official opening date is March 24.

“For a school library facility I don’t think there’d be many others to match,” Mr Wood beamed.

“It will be the learning hub for the school; a library and resource centre; an information centre.

“The reaction has been an understandable one of ‘wow, this is awesome’. Students can’t wait to get in and use it.

“We’re very proud of it, that’s for sure.”

FCAC also spent just over $100,000 on new resources including books, however that money came from the school’s coffers.



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