Cobram State School, No. 2881, commenced on this site in April 1893 after having first opened in a leased building in Pine Street in April 1888. The original Punt Road brick building measured 50’ x 20’ (15.2m x 6.1m) and included a gallery at the eastern end which was occupied by infants. Curtains separated the infant section from the remainder of the school, which had an enrolment at this time of 98 children looked after by two teachers.
In February 1896, a verandah and shelter shed were added, but the Education Department would not agree to increased accommodation although the average daily population was by now 158. Many petitions and letters were sent to the Department requesting immediate action. In 1900, a disused school building from Nuggety Reef was placed on site and this remained as very inferior accommodation until its removal in 1916.
In 1906, water was laid on from the new town scheme which was a 60,000 gallon tank filled directly from the Murray River. Also in 1906, an adjacent block of land was purchased for £50 thus alleviating the critical shortage of playing space. In 1908, a brick extension measuring 31’6” x 24’ (9.6m x 7.3m) was added to the southern side of the western end of the original brick building resulting in an “L” shape.
In 1915, the galleries were removed and blackboards and furniture brought in from the closed Cobram East School at a cost of £6/10/-. As further additions and renovations were taking place late in 1915, children had their lessons at Victoria Hall. The Hall burnt down on 6th December and all school records were lost. The school re-opened in 1915 having acquired its present shape. The condemned wooden room was finally disposed of.
The school population exceeded 220 when St. Josephs opened in 1922 and only slowly increased in size during the next twenty years. With the advent of irrigation after World War II, space again became a problem and by 1952 the Consolidated School opened on the site now occupied by the High School. Lessons continued to be taken in this building until the present Consolidated School in William Street opened in 1964.
THE PUNT ROAD SCHOOLHOUSE IS THE HOME OF THE COBRAM GENEALOGICAL GROUP.
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