View street site (Opposite Kangaroo Flat Ambulance station)
The old brick building that is across the road from the Ambulance station was the Kangaroo Flat “Common School”. It opened in 1870 and became Kangaroo Flat State School in 1873. This building went on to be the Bendigo Special School in the 1950s when the new state school opened on Lockwood Road. In 1975 the Bendigo Special School moved to what is now known as “Kalianna” in North Bendigo. This left the original View Street School building vacant. With 600 students on the Lockwood Road campus the old school provided some welcome space for the Prep classes and it then became known as the “Annexe.”
Many ex-students and teachers have wonderful memories of the Annexe with its train carriage in the playground and “Big Room” where all of the Preps could fit. Highlights for the Prep students each year were the campfire night in Term 1 and the sit down Christmas dinner at the end of the school year.
The Lockwood Road Site (now the Bendigo Special Developmental School)
This school opened in 1953 and was made up of prefabricated “Bristol” buildings. Built in England they were totally unsuitable for hot Australian summers. Another wing was added along Neil Street and later an Art Room, Multipurpose Room and Library. Ex-students would remember many uncomfortable days in extreme heat in the “Bristol” buildings before air-conditioning was installed in 1997. By 2005 the original buildings were quite run down and all buildings on the site were demolished in 2005 to make way for the purpose built Special Developmental School.
Current Olympic Parade Site
Ten years of planning and negotiation came to fruition in 2005 with the opening of the new Kangaroo Flat Primary School. At the time it was known for its innovative building design containing a central amphitheatre covered by a huge blue shade sail. Since then further landscaping works have created the oval, playgrounds, environmental areas, kitchen garden and chicken house. In 2012 the Freeman Drive Gymnasium building was opened.
The community of Kangaroo Flat now have outstanding facilities for their primary school aged children. A world away from the little school in View Street 150 years ago.
Where can you see history at KFPS today?
The old school bell - This is near the amphitheatre. It is from the original View street school and was also used at the Lockwood Road campus. The “ringer” is put back in place for special occasions.
The Time Capsule - Next to the bell. This was sealed in 1985 and is due to be opened in 2035 which will be the 200th Birthday of the state of Victoria.
The Pathway Leading to the Flags – these personalised bricks we also part of the 1985 celebration of Victoria’s 150th Birthday. The names of many ex-students and local Kangaroo Flat identities are on the bricks. A new pathway was created in 2005 as the entrance to main office building.
The Memorial to the Fallen – adjacent to the Flags. These two bronze plaques came from the Lockwood Road campus commemorating World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War 2 (1939-1945). The Pine Tree is an Aleppo Pine which is a descent of the original Lone Pine from Gallipoli.