Historic buildings at Federal face an uncertain future.
Historic buildings at Federal face an uncertain future. Christine Harch

School buildings’ fate unknown

A POSSIBLE reincarnation of the historic buildings of the Federal State School may yet be a long way off.

Gympie Regional Council’s Works and Services Committee yesterday heard that Gympie Aero Club had suggested that school buildings, doomed as a result of plans to re-route the Bruce Highway, might have a new lease on life – with a lease of council land at Kybong airport.

Yesterday’s committee meeting formally received a letter from Gympie Aero club referring to its desire to obtain one of the school buildings and renovate it for use as club rooms and a new terminal building and amenities block for the airport.

However, council’s Engineering Services director Bob Fredman said the availability of the buildings was still not settled.

“If a building is available it won’t be until next year,” Mr Fredman told the meeting.

“There’s been a bit of excitement at the airport... but people will just have to take a cold shower,” he said.

Referring to recent concerns about council fees for hangar and other space at the airport, Mr Fredman said pilots had expressed similar concerns recently at Hervey Bay, after council talked about introducing landing fees, as a substitute for increasing hangar rent (something which has met with considerable resistance from airport tenants, including the Aero Club).

But despite discontent with hangar rents at Kybong, Mr Fredman said one Hervey Bay pilot had responded to the landing fee suggestion by “suggesting such drastic action as moving down to Gympie”.

Mr Fredman said that while the answer from the Main Roads Department on the school buildings was not necessarily “no”... “but we need more time to be progressing this I think”.

The Aero Club letter said the school headmistress had approached the club after finding it was in need of a new clubhouse and terminal building.

The diversion of the highway would require the school to be relocated and she was anxious to avoid the loss of the two original timber buildings from the “history and heritage” of the local community.

The meeting was told the relocation was scheduled for April next year but that considerable preparatory work was required before then.

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