Construction of the $31.7 million upgrade to Karratha Senior High School has begun, with works expected to be completed mid next year. Karratha company Decmil Construction have started construction on the upgrade, with a sod turning ceremony held on May 13 to mark the occasion. The project was announced in August as part of the State Governments WA Recovery Plan and includes a new specialist building featuring STEM, media, digital design and information technology facilities. There will also be a new student services area and the food technologies studio will be the refurbished as a Certificate II kitchen. Perth-based company Iredale Pedersen Hook were chosen as the head architects in January last year, with construction originally expected to begin last December. Karratha Senior High School principal Mario Tufilli said it was fantastic for the works to begin. “From the school’s perspective, it is something that’s really needed,” he said. “We’ve been continuing to grow to about 1300 students and to have these new facilities on site, it’s going to give the students an amazing opportunity in terms of what they can tap into.” Mr Tufilli said a highlight of the new facilities was the technologies building. “We’re going to be looking at providing opportunities around engineering, robotics, mechatronics, digital tech, so that’s really going to open up the opportunities for students to get involved in those sort of areas in terms of future employment,” he said. Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said it was great to be with the Karratha Senior High School community to turn the first sod. “It’s important for local students to have access to a world-class education here in WA and that includes access to high-quality facilities like these,” he said. “Karratha is a rapidly growing area and I am pleased to have worked with the community to secure these upgrades for our local school. “I look forward to seeing local students benefiting from these new facilities.” KSHS was one of three West Pilbara schools to receive funding, with Roebourne District High School receiving $42m and Wickham Primary School awarded $3.5m to construct four purpose-built early childhood classrooms, including teaching spaces, kitchens and storerooms.