ueensland Education Minister Grace Grace, Spring Mountain State School Principal Cherie Moore, Member for Jordan Charis Mullen and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the new Spring Mountain State School in Ipswich.

Queensland Schools Project construction complete

Published 29 January 2019

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - Construction is complete on the $1.52 billion Queensland Schools Project public-private partnership, with the tenth and final school, Spring Mountain State School, welcoming its first students for the start of the 2019 academic year.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Education Minister Grace Grace and Member for Jordan Charis Mullen attended Spring Mountain State School in Ipswich to welcome students and their parents.

It marks the end of a five-year, staged construction period that has delivered eight new primary schools and two new secondary schools for some of southeast Queensland’s highest growth areas.

The first package of schools opened on time at the start of the 2015 academic year, and the tenth and final school was completed in December 2018 ready for the start of the 2019 school year.

Plenary Schools Chairman and Plenary Group Chief Operating Officer Glenn Hay said economic activity was boosted during construction, with around 1,700 local construction and supply chains jobs generated each year.

“The vast majority of the trades used on site were local companies, providing a boost to southeast Queensland’s local economy,” Mr Hay said.

“Now the project is completed it’s playing a key role in meeting the demand for education in the state by providing places for more than 10,000 new students.”

Mr Hay said the Plenary Schools consortium had delivered school environments that support quality, cost-effective and innovative education, with the flexibility to accommodate current and future curricular activities.

“Fundamental to our design was the development of a ‘model school’, which provided a benchmark for each site and ensured a common design theme across all schools.

“It allowed for the standardisation of some buildings, and efficiencies in construction and ongoing maintenance, but allowed each school to have its own unique identity.

“All ten schools include energy-efficiency measure that deliver comfortable learning and teaching environments. For example, making the best use of indoor and outdoor spaces by achieving efficiencies in natural light, shade, glare and temperature.”

The Queensland Department of Education contracted the Plenary Schools consortium – comprising Plenary Group as project sponsor, financial arranger and equity investor, builder Watpac and facilities manager DeltaFM – to finance, design, construct, commission and maintain for 25 years eight new primary schools and two new secondary schools.

In December Plenary also successfully completed a $200 million refinancing of the project, comprising a single, five-year debt tranche to fully refinance the existing debt.

The project’s original sole lender NAB continued its participation, and in a sign of the project’s underlying strength, Norinchukin Australia also participated.

The highly-competitive pricing and terms achieved reflects the de-risking of the project, with Plenary Schools having successful managed its five-year delivery phase.

The refinance adds to Plenary’s proven capability as financial arranger in the Australian infrastructure sector that also includes the $230 million refinance of the AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience PPP, and the $646 million refinance of the Peninsula Link PPP.

Image (L-R): Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace, Spring Mountain State School Principal Cherie Moore, Member for Jordan Charis Mullen and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the new Spring Mountain State School in Ipswich.

 

Christopher Whitefield

Corporate Affairs Manager
+61 3 8888 7754
+61 418 530 806
christopher.whitefield@plenarygroup.com.au