THE Department of Education and Early Childhood Development appears to have had a change of heart on the future of Portland North Primary’s former principal’s residence.
While the building’s future remains undecided, a spokesman for the department said yesterday it was obtaining estimates for the cost of retaining the building.
“Once costs have been established, funding options will be investigated,” he said.
The building, built in 1878, was used as a music room until around October last year, had been identified for demolition and replacement after a State Government audit of school buildings in 2012.
The spokesman said part of the correspondence sent to the school last week by the department contained errors.
The correspondence which was published in the school’s newsletter to parents last week, was from the department and read:
“As the proposal to retain and refurbish the existing headmaster’s residence is now the preferred option and professional advice received indicates the current budget is not sufficient for this change, the education department is seeking approval from the minister to increase the budget from other funding sources. Given this is a change in scope which has a budget impact, approval is required by the minister for additional funds.”
But spokesman told the Portland Observer on Monday that the department would not seek approval from Education Minister Martin Dixon and that any additional funds would come from within the department.
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