The $6 million redeveloped Evanston Gardens Primary School was officially opened last Friday by the Minister for Education, the Hon John Gardner. Local Member, Mr Tony Piccolo said that he was pleased that the staff and students at the school now had modern facilities to assist with their learning. “The new buildings enable teachers to conduct lessons using modern teaching techniques by utilising impressive new technologies.” said Mr Piccolo. “The redeveloped school also has updated administrative and library facilities to cater for future growth of up to 480 students. “The historic library underwent a major conversion into a new administration centre for the school.” The school’s enrolments have been steadily growing as a result of the new housing estates in Evanston Gardens and Evanston South. The redevelopment of Evanston Gardens PriMary School was funded as a part of the Construction and Urban Renewal Projects for Northern Adelaide, a key focus of the previous State Labor Government. The successful redevelopment was undertaken by Romaldi Constructions. The redevelopment was first mooted in 2011 when the then Education Minister, the Hon Jay Weatherill, authorised a feasibility into the proposed extensive upgrade and the project was funded when the Hon Jennifer Rankine was Minister for Education. Work on the redevelopment started in 2016 following approval by the Parliamentary Works Committee in the middle of 2015. At the time the redevelopment was announced, School Principal Ms Libby Clift said it’s was hard to put into words what the development meant for our school community, but with new opportunities for technology there has been greater learning opportunities for our teachers and children. “The new library and administration buildings have made a big difference and we will be able to build on the best of our heritage, into the future,” Ms Clift said. “We have a lot of parents who were students and now volunteer at our school; some of them cried with joy when they heard the development was going ahead,” added Ms Clift. Mr Piccolo said the school opened on 20 January 1908 and Blanche Tims, a provisional teacher, taught at the school in 1908 and 1909 and the school moved to its current location in 1923. In 1951, 1961 and 1966 wooden prefab classrooms were added to the school as pupil numbers grew. Another wooden prefab classroom was added in 1974 when the nearby Gawler River School closed. Until 1968 the school was known as Gawler Blocks PriMary School, reflecting the name of the area until that time. Gawler Blocks was originally owned by Mr John Riggs in town sections of 630 acres. A move to establish Gawler Blocks began with a meeting in Gawler on 28 May 1890 which formed a branch of the homestead league. On 24 June 1891 the league received word that the government had purchased the 630 acres as requested by the branch for working men's blocks.