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Bridgewater High School


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Bridgewater High School  News and Information "After the fire" stories

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After the fire

Timeline     Minister's statements      BASMERT

Bridgewater High after fireA fire at Bridgewater High School on Tuesday 23 October 2007 led to the relocation of classes and demolition of the building.

From 1 November until the end of 2007, grade 7 and 8 students were located at Geilston Bay High School, and grade 9 and 10 were located at Claremont College.

From the beginning of 2008,
the school will become whole again when all Bridgewater High School grades will be located at the Bridgewater Primary School site. Bridgewater Primary School students and staff will be relocated to Green Point Primary School.

BASMERTThis temporary arrangement will last while  BASMERT  - the taskforce created by the Minister for Education - recommends what kind of replacement school should be built, and where, and while building takes place. The community's views about the replacement and about their educational needs generally will be sought soon.

Building alterations have commenced for the location of Bridgewater High at the Bridgewater Primary site and for the co-location of the two primary schools at Green Point Primary.

The start of the new school year has been delayed slightly (for students only). Students in all three schools - Bridgewater High, Bridgewater Primary and Green Point Primary - will now return on Monday 18 February 2008.

After the fire

This page contains all of the "after the fire" news stories and photographs published on our school website.

To be kept up to date on other matters go to the news page.


Minister for Education's media releaseThe community's views about what kind of educational services they want from the replacement for Bridgewater High School will be sought soon.

The Minister for Education, David Bartlett, said that an independent consultant will conduct community forums in the last two weeks of January and throughout February.

"As well as secondary schooling, the focus will be on lifelong learning to encompass the early years through to Year 12, skills and other adult learning," Mr Bartlett said.

Mr Bartlett also said that Bridgewater High School Co-Principal Mrs Chris Gee was working with a teacher and her class on a class-based project to get students' views about the educational needs of the area.

"The class will work with students from other schools in the broader Bridgewater and Southern Midlands area," he said.

"Following this consultation and other presentations, the taskforce will develop options which will go out to the whole community for consultation and feedback."

The Bridgewater and Southern Midlands Education Renewal Taskforce has already met twice and will meet a further five times before presenting its report to the Minister by 31 March 2008.

See the Minister's statement.

- Dated 24 December 2007



The taskforce established by the Minister for Education, David Bartlett, reported below, to look at what kind of new school should be built, and where, has produced its first update for the community.

Community Update Number 1 of the Bridgewater and Southern Midlands Education Renewal Taskforce (BASMERT) points out that no decisions have yet been made and mentions that a wide survey of the community will soon be undertaken.

Copies of Community Update Number 1 were placed in a large number of shops and other locations on Thursday and Friday, 20-21 December. This brochure can also be downloaded as a PDF file or Word document at

The brochure, and the website, explain what BASMERT has been asked to do and how they will be doing it, and provide details of the terms of reference, who the people on this taskforce are and a timeline.

Until BASMERT has its own website set up, they will provide information for publication on the Bridgewater High School website at and the Brighton Alive website

- Dated 18 December 2007. Updated 21 December.



Bridgewater High School students will return to school on Monday 18 February 2008 instead of this year's general Term 1 commencement date for Tasmanian high schools of Thursday 14 February. The delay of two school days is to enable staff to complete final preparations for the holding of high school classes at the Bridgewater Primary School site.

(Students at Bridgewater Primary and Green Point Primary will have the same delayed start to 2008, both schools commencing at Green Point Primary School on Monday 18 February 2008.)

During the holidays, builders will be making significant changes to Bridgewater Primary to provide classrooms for high school practical subjects such as Science, Home Economics, MDT and Art.

- Dated 14 December 2007. Updated 20 December 2007.


The Education Department has appointed an officer to assist with the completion of claims by people who still have claims to submit following our school fire. He will be available from 9am to 3pm on Tuesday 18 December and Wednesday 19 December, in a room at the Brighton Community Health Centre, 27 Greenpoint Road, Bridgewater. No appointments needed.

- Dated 14 December 2007


Police have increased to $20,000 the reward for information about the fire. See details on the ABC's news site.

Information should be given to Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

- Dated Saturday, 8 December 2007


Grade 6 students thoroughly enjoyed their Orientation Day on Wednesday, 5 December and teachers were impressed with how happy and eager for high school they were.

As Bridgewater High School teachers gave the students some lessons using the Claremont College classrooms, the students experienced a jump from primary school to college in one day!

More information about the day is in the Orientation Day notice.

- Dated Friday, 7 December 2007


Bridgewater High will be located at the adjacent Bridgewater Primary School next year, the Minister for Education, David Bartlett, announced today.

"I believe the best option is to co-locate Bridgewater Primary and Green Point Primary students on one site and to locate BHS temporarily at Bridgewater Primary,"
Mr Bartlett said.

"Importantly, this decision will see the identity of the school maintained and ensure there are no extra transport requirements for BHS students," he said.

"Students will have continued access to flexible learning programs in the area, particularly Pete's Shed and the Farm.

"The use of the oval will be retained, and there will be space for temporary specialist accommodation if necessary."

Mr Bartlett said that yesterday he had met with parents of the three schools involved and that extra funding would be provided to help with the change.

You can read the full statement on the Minister's website.

SEE ALSO: Minister announces taskforce below.

- Dated Tuesday, 20 November 2007.

(Clicking repeatedly on photographs and internal links below returns you to this page.)



Less than half of the old Bridgewater High School building now remains..

All of the building from the gym to the grade 7 corridor has been demolished, leaving only the bare concrete foundation or bare ground.

Demolition notes in red paint can be seen on the remaining wall of the grade 7 corridor.

- Dated Sunday 18 November 2007.



Demolition has reached the grade 7 area, which has traditionally been the polling place where Bridgewater people have voted.

The Australian Electoral Commission has advised us that to vote in the Federal election to be held on Saturday, 24 November 2007, Bridgewater residents should go to Bridgewater PRIMARY School in Eddington Street.

The AEC plans to set up a polling place in Bridgewater Primary's multi-purpose room which has an external entrance located left from the car park.

- Dated Friday, 16 November 2007


The Minister for Education, David Bartlett, released a statement today on Bridgewater High's relocation in 2008.

He said: "I am expecting recommendations from the Department later this week that I will discuss with my Cabinet colleagues before making a decision as soon as I am able."

You can read the full statement on the Minister's website.

UPDATE: The Minister announced the decision on Tuesday, 20 November 2007.

- Dated Wednesday, 14 November 2007.
- Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007.



Demolition reached the corner of the grade 8 area on Monday afternoon, 12 November.

See the short movie of the facia coming down (Movie 1: 1.4MB).

Movie 1 (1.4MB)   Movie 2 (1.4MB)  Movie 3 (1.4MB)

- Dated Monday, 12 November 2007



Grade 6 students will still be wondering about the Orientation Day.

We are considering sites where it can be held and we are fairly sure it can still be held on the planned date of Wednesday 5 December.

The Orientation Day will include a visit to the school farm.

Bridgewater High will be located at the Bridgewater Primary School site in 2008.

Photos, right: A visit to the school farm
was part of last year's Orientation Day
(Click for more farm photos)

- Dated Thursday, 8 November 2007.
- Updated Tuesday, 20 November 2007.




The questions everyone is asking are: "What happens now? Will they build a new high school on the same site, or somewhere else? How can we best use this opportunity to bring college and other facilities for people beyond year 10 into the area?"

The Minister for Education, David Bartlett, has created a community taskforce to look at all the possibilities. He made the announcement at the Community Health Expo on Wednesday.

See the Minister's statement on the community task force

- Dated Thursday, 8 November 2007.

UPDATE: From the beginning of 2008, Bridgewater High will be temporarily located at the Bridgewater Primary School site - while the taskforce completes its work and the replacement  is planned and constructed. (20 November 2007)

UPDATE: The Bridgewater and Southern Midlands Education Renewal Taskforce has produced its first update for the community. (18 December 2007)


The gym is prepared for  further demolition. The area around the back of the music rooms is cleaned up. The entrance to the grade 8 area is visible. Demolition of the grade 9 area continues. The students' ceramic tiles fixed to the library wall are visible.


The gym now stands exposed like a skeleton.


The three outward-facing walls of the gym were knocked down on Saturday afternoon.

 Walls down 1     Walls down 2    Walls down 3

- Dated Saturday, 3 November 2007




More demolition work on Friday has exposed the central courtyard.

The covered walkway between the music corridor area and the library can now be seen from the netball courts and even from Greenpoint Road.

- Dated Saturday, 3 November 2007


The time capsule buried by our students in 1995 in the corner of the courtyard closest to the science area was recovered on Friday.

There was some difficulty in locating it. Numerous holes were dug by spade in an unsuccessful first quest to locate the time capsule.

In the end the builders waited for further building demolition work to occur to enable a back-hoe to be driven into the courtyard.

The time capsule was not due to be dug up until 2010.

- Dated Saturday, 3 November 2007


Photos 2 November 2007


On Thursday (1 November), students met for the first time following the fire at our school.

An information sheet was distributed to parents at the gathering at the PCYC as well as to all students for taking home.

You can:
- see it as a web page , or
- download a copy as a pdf file

The school appreciates the efforts of our hosts - Geilston Bay High School and Claremont College - for making us welcome and for going to considerable trouble to provide our students and staff with facilities.

Information sheet Thursday, 1 November 2007 (pdf file)

(The page you are viewing previously held information about the return to classes planned for 1 November. That information was rearranged into the above information sheet which was distributed to parents and students on 1 November. If you have trouble viewing this information as a web page or as a pdf file, then try the old web page.)


- Dated Thursday, 1 November 2007. Updated.


Builders were on the roof of the main gym on Thursday preparing for the gym to be demolished.

The facia (metal sheeting around the sides at the top) has been removed.

 - Dated 11pm Thursday 1 November 2006.




The remaining part of the grade 9 area has now been demolished.

This was the last major burnt section to be left standing.

The fire had been started in a rubbish bin in the grade 9 open area.

 - Dated 11pm Thursday 1 November 2006



Photos - Wednesday 31 October and Thursday 1 November


Demolition extended through the aerobics room and the table tennis rooms to expose the interior of our students' much-loved gym on Tuesday.

The weights room had been burned in the fire.

A person can stand near the netball courts and see all the way to the gym's two basketball rings that will never be used again.


COMPLETELY REMOVED: The canteen, the change rooms and part of the grade 10 area. COMPLETELY REMOVED: The rest of grade 10, left, and part of grade 9. The entrance to the music corridor is at the back. SHELL STILL REMAINING: The grade 9 locker and open area (where the fire began), centre, and adjacent classrooms.


A second fire broke out at the school site on Sunday afternoon but it was easily extinguished.
It appears to have originated from smouldering ashes in the area of the music room.
For safety reasons demolition of that area was accelerated.

The music rooms and the music corridor have now been demolished.
The demolished area of the school now reaches a
corner of the grade 8 computer room.
The gym area has been demolished only to the aerobics room at this stage.
- Dated Monday 29 October, 9.45pm. Updated 30 October, 7.00am.


Shortly after the fire, the Minister for Education, David Bartlett, announced that the drop-in centre at the PCYC in Greenpoint Road would be specially staffed until the return to classes.

This provided students with a place to go to if they wished to talk to someone about the fire.

- This message is dated Sunday, 28 October 2007, 9.00 am. Updated 7Nov.


If you have information that might help the police, then phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

- This message is dated Sunday, 28 October 2007, 9.00 am.

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