The former Sebastopol State School No.1167, located at 185-187 Yarrowee Street Sebastopol, built in 1873-4 and designed by architect William Elleker to the extent of the land, and including the mature trees planted on the north boundary and Yarrowee Street boundary.
The Sebastopol school is T-shaped in plan, featuring a hipped-roof section running east-west, intersected by a long gabled section projecting south. The facade features a parapeted-gable entrance porch located at the intersection of the projecting hipped-roof northern wing. A shallow parapeted gabled bay window projects from the southern end of the facade. The ground-floor windows have segmentally arched heads with label moulds created by dog-toothed cream bricks and there is an X diaper pattern in cream bricks at the base of the projecting hipped-roof wing. A beltcourse divides the two floors of flat and moulded cream bricks, with a narrow cream brick cornice at the top. The first floor windows are round headed, with label moulds. A band of cream bricks runs at the springing level of the arches. Also of significance on the site are Quercus robur (English Oak), Ulmus procera (English Elm) planted on the boundary of Yarrowee Street, and although later, still significant, a row of Cupressus torulosa (Bhutan cypress) planted on the northern boundary fence. Semi-mature Fraxinus (Ash) are interplanted with the Elms and Oaks.
How is it significant?
The former Sebastopol State School No.1167 is of local historic, social and architectural significance.
Why is it significant?
The former Sebastopol State School No.1167 is of historical significance as a large school complex established to provide education to the children of Sebastopol following the discovery of gold and the development of the township. In 1875 the school recorded the highest number of enrolments in Victoria. (Criterion A)
The former Sebastopol State School No.1167 is of social significance for its role within the community since the 1870s. The school now functions as a community facility used by local groups, including the Sebastopol Historical Society and Museum. (Criterion G)
The former Sebastopol State School No.1167 is of architectural significance as an example of a standard state school design by architect William H Elleker, prepared for the newly formed Department of Education. It also provides evidence of state school designs that were intended to be enlarged over time as the school population grows. (Criterion D)
Sebastopol State School No. 1167 (former) - Physical Description 1
The former Sebastopol State School No 1167 is a two-storey bichrome brick building on basalt foundations with a hipped roof and T-shaped plan.
At the north end is a projecting, hipped-roof section, with a longer section set back from it. At their junction is a parapeted-gable entrance porch, with an arched opening and ledged and framed doors. At the south end of the facade is a parapeted gabled bay, which projects only slightly. There is a circular vent at its apex, and raised lettering ('State School No. 1167') beneath the first-floor windows. It is apparent when comparing the Sebastopol school with the 1874 State School No 1360 (VHR H1621), Gold Street, Clifton Hill, of the same design, that this gabled bay was intended sit at the centre of the facade. The planned southern half was never built.
The ground-floor windows have segmentally arched heads with label moulds created by dog-toothed cream bricks. The sashes are six-over-six with a three or six-light highlight. Sills are basalt, resting on curved cream-brick brackets. Narrow bands of cream brick intersect with the window sills and the top of the sashes. There is an X diaper pattern in cream bricks at the base of the projecting hipped-roof wing. A beltcourse of flat and moulded cream bricks divides the two floors, with a narrow cream brick cornice at the top. The first floor windows are round headed, with label moulds, and six-over-six double-hung sashes. A band of cream bricks runs at the springing level of the arches.
The north side elevation has the same windows and detailing on the two floors. The rear (east) elevation, however, has simplified details to the segmentally arched and round arched windows, though the cream brick bands and cornice are carried through.
The south elevation is quite different, as it appears to have been given a temporary finish anticipating the extension of the school to its planned full size. The walls are finished with ruled render, and the windows have flattened render lintels and sills. There is a small skillion-roof entrance porch with elegant stop-chamfering to the segmentally arched doorways at either end.
Alterations include the recladding of the roof in Colorbond. It may have originally been slate. Also, in comparison with the Primary School on Gold Street, Clifton Hill, it would appear that the building is missing its chimneys and possibly a ventilation turret above the gabled bay.
The north side elevation has also been rendered in recent years, though the cream brick bands, cornice and window surrounds were left exposed. There is a 20th-century timber fire escape at the rear of this elevation. The school yard, which once extended further south and east of the school building has been reduced in size due to subdivision and subsequent unit development. The Yarrowee Street boundary has mature plantings of Quercus robur (English Oak) and Ulmus procera (English Elm) dating from the nineteenth century. The northern boundary fence has a planting of Cupressus torulosa (Bhutan cypress) .