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Evocative details at Boolboonda State Primary School – Bundaberg


Conservation Management Plan

The AHS team shares a passion for helping our clients to understand and conserve the history of their sites.

As experts in the complex field of heritage consultancy we know that scale, location or grandeur are not the only factors that make a historic place worthy of preservation.

A recent commission for Bundaberg Regional Council demonstrated that a humble-looking structure in a remote setting can be just as evocative and engaging as our more ‘high-profile’ projects.

AHS was engaged to create a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the Queensland Heritage listed Boolboonda State Primary School near Gin Gin. The school officially opened in 1897 and operated until 1973, with the site still accessible but being unused since the late 1990s.

The aim of this CMP was to provide Bundaberg Regional Council with the knowledge and tools to ensure that the significant elements and features of Boolboonda State Primary School remain intact and interpretable for future generations.

School retains a high level of integrity

Boolboonda State Primary School is situated along Boolboonda Tunnel Road, named after the Boolboonda Tunnel which was constructed in the early 1880s. This is the longest unsupported tunnel in the southern hemisphere, passing through 192 metres of solid rock.

This rail line accommodated the region’s growing copper mining industry by connecting Mount Perry and Bundaberg. With the railway came increased settlement and therefore the need for a school.

Boolboonda State Primary School is a typical example of the rural Provisional Schools of the late nineteenth century, being elevated on low timber stumps and timber framed with weatherboard clad construction and a corrugated metal roof.

The school retains a high level of integrity, with the layout and design significantly intact since its original construction and much of the original fabric and hardware surviving within the building.

During the site visit our team was delighted to find that the original coat hooks, shelves, school sign, toilets and other original details remain, creating a window into the daily school routines that would have been familiar to so many local children.

South-west corner of the rear verandah showing coat hooks and a former basin.


A new purpose

How can we bring life back to a small, remote building that played an important part in the lives of several generations of Boolboonda children that now has no purpose?

AHS identified opportunities for the adaptive re-use of Boolboonda State Primary School, including reopening as a community hall to host meetings, classes, and group activities for local residents.

The sizeable block of land attached to the building provides room for marquees that would increase the capacity for visitors and enable the school to be hired out for larger events and functions.

Another possibility would be to establish a heritage pathway from the school to the Boolboonda Tunnel. This could be used as a walking track or riding track for outdoor enthusiasts, with interpretive signs adding to the experience for visitors interested in the history of the area.

North-east built-in verandah showing windows to the east and shelving.


Contact us

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

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The Challenge

Boolboonda State Primary School is situated along Boolboonda Tunnel Road, named after the Boolboonda Tunnel which was constructed in the early 1880s. This is the longest unsupported tunnel in the southern hemisphere, passing through 192 metres of solid rock.

This rail line accommodated the region’s growing copper mining industry by connecting Mount Perry and Bundaberg. With the railway came increased settlement and therefore the need for a school.

Boolboonda State Primary School is a typical example of the rural Provisional Schools of the late nineteenth century, being elevated on low timber stumps and timber framed with weatherboard clad construction and a corrugated metal roof.

The school retains a high level of integrity, with the layout and design significantly intact since its original construction and much of the original fabric and hardware surviving within the building.

During the site visit our team was delighted to find that the original coat hooks, shelves, school sign, toilets and other original details remain, creating a window into the daily school routines that would have been familiar to so many local children.



How we helped

How can we bring life back to a small, remote building that played an important part in the lives of several generations of Boolboonda children that now has no purpose?

AHS identified opportunities for the adaptive re-use of Boolboonda State Primary School, including reopening as a community hall to host meetings, classes, and group activities for local residents.

The sizeable block of land attached to the building provides room for marquees that would increase the capacity for visitors and enable the school to be hired out for larger events and functions.

Another possibility would be to establish a heritage pathway from the school to the Boolboonda Tunnel. This could be used as a walking track or riding track for outdoor enthusiasts, with interpretive signs adding to the experience for visitors interested in the history of the area.

Results

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

You might also like to read:

Case Study

Archerfield Airport helps tell Brisbane’s aviation story

Case Study

AHS helps to preserve Kangaroo Point heritage home – Brisbane

Case Study

Conserving Brisbane’s iconic Old Museum Building

Case Study

AHS displays multidisciplinary expertise at Naldham House – Brisbane

Case Study

Adaptive reuse of Goldsworthy and Perkins Boot Factory – Brisbane

Case Study

AHS working with Traditional Owners – The Spit

Case Study

Celebrating the Walter Hill Fountain – Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Case Study

Layers of paint reveal hidden histories

Case Study

Conservation of Wyllie Park Roadside Rest Area – Petrie

Case Study

A glimpse of Brisbane’s fasinating past – Birkdale Community Precinct

Case Study

Cairns Courthouse Project

Case Study

Bunya to the Bay Educational Project

Case Study

Restoration of Archer Park Rail Museum – Rockhampton

Case Study

Revitalisation of Mount Carmel Centre – Wynnum

Case Study

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AHS is on the case for Cairns Court House project

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Contact Australian Heritage Specialists for a free consultation for your project from one of our award-winning consultants.