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The History of Ipswich Special School

The need for new accommodation resulted in the Ipswich Municipal Council giving the Department four acres in Queen’s Park in exchange for the old school site. A tender for a new building from Worly and Whitehead of £1780/17/6d was accepted and work began on a structure to accommodate 545 pupils, although the enrolment was approximately 320 pupils. The new building would accommodate future increases. The new school was officially opened on 3 August 1901.

In March 1915, the Girls and Infants School moved into new premises as they had outgrown the Bell Street school. The previous building had deteriorated. The local Council and the Department organized a “swap” of the old Girls’ school site for half
of the City Gardens, which was finalised in 1924. 

The old school was later demolished. The new school was built for £3100. Its new location placed the Central Boys’ and Girls’ schools next to each other in buildings on the western slopes of the hill in Queen’s Park. Changes were made to the grounds especially between 1928 and 1940 when relief workers were employed by the Council to create jobs during the depression.

Enrolments steadily increased at both schools and major additions were completed to cater for increased numbers. Enrolments at the Girls’ school reached almost 700 pupils in the early 1950s. A temporary block of five classrooms was added. This reduced the playing area. Expansion under the school was not possible because of the seepage from Cunningham’s Knoll during wet weather.
Ipswich Special State School: site no. 20056, 20174 and 20747 - Application for Heritage Listing