Turning back time with history of tech schools in Stawell

This building, still in existence, in Skene Street Stawell, was constructed in 1890. It makes a significant architectural and visual contribution to the predominantly late 19th and 20th century residential housing of the area. The front of the building also has significance as an externally intact example of the late Victorian Free Classical style of Architecture. It was constructed as an addition to the Market Buildings (which were constructed in 1878-79) and it accommodated the Stawell School of Mines which evolved out of the Stawell School of Arts and Design in the mid 1880’s. The Stawell Market that had been established on the site was used as a general market for several years, but was never a success. There was also a small crushing plant on the site and travelling circuses pitched their tents there. It was used by boys to play cricket and football, had a skating rink, and the Salvation Army held its rallies there. READ MORE: The formal decision to establish a Stawell School of Mines was made on January 8th 1890. A meeting of trustees was told on June 13th 1890 that what was once a mere shed, had been transformed into a comfortable and commodious school. Mining enjoyed a boom in Stawell in the 1890’s and for some years the School of Mines produced metallurgists, assayers, chemists and engineers who found profitable work in Western Australia, Africa, South America and other mining centres in other parts of the world. Numbers at the school started declining in the early 1900’s due to the decline in mining but s started to revive again in 1909. OTHER NEWS: In the “Stawell School of Mines Prospectus” of 1905 some of the classes advertised were; assaying, metallurgy, algebra, trigonometry, mineralogy, mining geology, land surveying and mine surveying. By 1916 the complex began to be known as the Technical School when junior technical courses were established. Boys of the seventh and eighth grades at the State School and from the industrial classes at the High School were transferred to it. In 1926, the old market buildings to the South of the main building were demolished and a new modern brick trade wing was constructed. The new Stawell Tech in Patrick Street was opened in April 1970 and at the time of the opening was described as the “Best yet built in Victoria” by the Minister of Education Mr Lindsay Thompson, who performed the opening. In 1987 the Technical School and the High School amalgamated to form the Stawell Community College with all the Tech School students transferring to the High School. The TAFE campus at Stawell, a division of the Wimmera Community College of TAFE was established at this time. In 1989, work began on alterations to the former school of Mines building, with the Skene Street facade and front rooms retained and restored and converted into a teaching restaurant and was known as the “Jacaranda Restaurant”. The 1926 trade wing was later demolished to make way for extensions to the Skene Street Specialist School. If you can see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Stawell Times-News, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and for allowing us to continue telling Stawell’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.

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This building, still in existence, in Skene Street Stawell, was constructed in 1890. It makes a significant architectural and visual contribution to the predominantly late 19th and 20th century residential housing of the area.

The front of the building also has significance as an externally intact example of the late Victorian Free Classical style of Architecture.

It was constructed as an addition to the Market Buildings (which were constructed in 1878-79) and it accommodated the Stawell School of Mines which evolved out of the Stawell School of Arts and Design in the mid 1880’s.

The Stawell Market that had been established on the site was used as a general market for several years, but was never a success.

There was also a small crushing plant on the site and travelling circuses pitched their tents there. It was used by boys to play cricket and football, had a skating rink, and the Salvation Army held its rallies there.

The formal decision to establish a Stawell School of Mines was made on January 8th 1890. A meeting of trustees was told on June 13th 1890 that what was once a mere shed, had been transformed into a comfortable and commodious school.

Mining enjoyed a boom in Stawell in the 1890’s and for some years the School of Mines produced metallurgists, assayers, chemists and engineers who found profitable work in Western Australia, Africa, South America and other mining centres in other parts of the world.

Numbers at the school started declining in the early 1900’s due to the decline in mining but s started to revive again in 1909.

In the “Stawell School of Mines Prospectus” of 1905 some of the classes advertised were; assaying, metallurgy, algebra, trigonometry, mineralogy, mining geology, land surveying and mine surveying.

By 1916 the complex began to be known as the Technical School when junior technical courses were established.

Boys of the seventh and eighth grades at the State School and from the industrial classes at the High School were transferred to it. In 1926, the old market buildings to the South of the main building were demolished and a new modern brick trade wing was constructed.

The new Stawell Tech in Patrick Street was opened in April 1970 and at the time of the opening was described as the “Best yet built in Victoria” by the Minister of Education Mr Lindsay Thompson, who performed the opening.

In 1987 the Technical School and the High School amalgamated to form the Stawell Community College with all the Tech School students transferring to the High School.

The TAFE campus at Stawell, a division of the Wimmera Community College of TAFE was established at this time.

In 1989, work began on alterations to the former school of Mines building, with the Skene Street facade and front rooms retained and restored and converted into a teaching restaurant and was known as the “Jacaranda Restaurant”.

The 1926 trade wing was later demolished to make way for extensions to the Skene Street Specialist School.

If you can see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Stawell Times-News, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and for allowing us to continue telling Stawell’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.

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