Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The first school was opened on this site in Drouin in 1877. In 1936 a small four classroom school building was constructed to replace buildings destroyed by fire that year, and since that date numerous buildings have been constructed on the school site.
Towns such as Drouin were established as a result of the building of the Gippsland railway from Melbourne to Sale in 1877-9. The Drouin school opened in 1877 with an enrolment of eighty students. New school buildings were constructed on the site in 1885 and 1890 and in 1918 four blocks of land at the rear of the school were bought from J. J. Winters. In February 1936 the school was destroyed by fire, and by 20 November of that year this had been replaced by a brick building at the front of the site, with a capacity for 248 students. At the time of construction it was described in the Argus, 4 July 1936, as a model plan for a school building.
The new building in 1936 was designed by the Public Works Department, under the direction of the chief architect, Percy Everett, who held this position from 1934 to 1953. Everett was instrumental in transforming the department's output by promoting a distinctive style of modern architecture in a range of public buildings. Known as Moderne, the style featured austere horizontal lines, minimal ornamentation, curved corners which gave a streamlined effect, cement render or light coloured brickwork, and a contrasting vertical element.
The building at Drouin Primary School epitomises this style. It is symmetrically planned and originally contained four classrooms opening off a central assembly area, which contained a raised platform for supervision of all classrooms with the opening of folding windows and sliding blackboards. The carefully considered front facade features a central rectangular mass, flanked by porches and curved wings, and a curved, cantilevered porch roof. Flat roofs, cantilevered concrete sections, horizontal glazing bars in strips of windows and doors, and the distinct use of dark clinker brickwork for the lower facade, all help to emphasise the horizontal character of the building. Contrasting verticality is provided by a central motif, with flagpole. Internally the walls are of face brick to at least window head height. It would appear that these were originally varnished, however they have now been painted.
In 1995 this building was converted to the administration centre for the school and alterations made to the interior. Internal detailing, including platform, cupboards, blackboards and fireplace, has been retained in the north west room and the folding windows and fireplace in the adjoining room. Original doors and windows have generally been retained, including sliding doors at the rear with cantilevered semicircular horizontal hoods.
Drouin, and its rural suburbs, almost doubled in population in the seven years after the Second World War. In response to this, and the shortage of building materials, a prefabricated Bristol building was added behind the 1936 building in 1952-53, originally to provide temporary accommodation for the Higher Elementary School. Manufactured by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in England and transported to Australia, these prefabricated aluminium buildings were erected across Victoria after the war. At Drouin, the Bristol building contains six classrooms and a central administration area, all accessed off a corridor which runs the length of the building. [NOTE: The Bristol Building (B2) was demolished with a permit in 2007]
A number of trees are located on the school site, including two Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) planted either side of the entrance to the 1936 building, presumably dating from the late 1930s, and a number of oak trees. Two of these are rare White Oaks (Quercus alba (Hybrid)), one located to the north west at the front of the 1936 building, and the other, a particularly large specimen, located near the south east boundary behind the 1936 building. Its size would indicate an age of over 100 years, possibly indicating planting soon after the opening of the school in 1877.
How is it significant?
Drouin Primary School is of architectural, historical and scientific (horticultural) significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Drouin Primary School is of architectural significance as an example of the innovative work produced by the Public Works Department, under the direction of Percy Everett, and in particular as a model plan for a school building. It is an early example of the department's work in a distinctive modern style, unusual in the design of a small primary school building. Other examples were the six classroom Infants' School at Caulfield North Primary School, 1937-8, and the three classroom building at Frankston Primary School, 1937-8.
Drouin Primary School is of architectural significance for its prefabricated Bristol Aeroplane Company building which is a representative example of this type of construction, once common in the State. It reflects both the shortage of building materials after the Second World War and the need to cater for a growing population.
Drouin Primary School is of historical significance for its associations with the development of Gippsland in eastern Victoria, initially as a result of the construction of the Melbourne to Sale railway line in 1877-9, and then its later development after the Second World War.
Drouin Primary School planting is of scientific (horticultural) significance for the two rare White Oaks (Quercus alba (Hybrid)), a species rarely grown in Victoria. Complementing the symmetry of the building is a pair of Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis), planted on axis with the main entrance.
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO. 1924 - Plaque Citation
Built in 1936 and described as a model plan for a school, this innovative building by Public Works Department architect Percy Everett is an unusual example of the Moderne style used for a primary school.
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO. 1924 - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Exemptions:General exemptions apply to all places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). General exemptions have been designed to allow everyday activities, maintenance and changes to your property, which don’t harm its cultural heritage significance, to proceed without the need to obtain approvals under the Heritage Act 2017.Specific exemptions may also apply to your registered place or object. If applicable, these are listed below. Specific exemptions are tailored to the conservation and management needs of an individual registered place or object and set out works and activities that are exempt from the requirements of a permit. Specific exemptions prevail if they conflict with general exemptions. Find out more about heritage permit exemptions here.Specific Exemptions:General Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan endorsed by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. Note: The existence of a Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan endorsed by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable. Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works may submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
Removal of extraneous items such as air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, wiring, antennae, aerials etc, and making good.
Installation and repairing of damp proofing by either injection method or grout pocket method.
Installation or removal of external fixtures and fittings such as, hot water services and taps.
Painting of previously painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of any original paint or other decorative scheme.
Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
Installation, removal or replacement of curtain tracks, rods and blinds.
Installation, removal or replacement of hooks, nails and other devices for the hanging of mirrors, paintings and other wall mounted art.
Demolition or removal of non-original stud/partition walls, suspended ceilings or non-original wall linings (including plasterboard, laminate and Masonite), bathroom partitions and tiling, sanitary fixtures and fittings, kitchen wall tiling and equipment, lights, built-in cupboards, cubicle partitions, computer and office fitout and the like.
Removal or replacement of non-original door and window furniture including hinges, locks, knobsets and sash lifts.
Installation of stud walls, which are removable, other than in the intact rooms in the 1936 building.
Refurbishment of existing bathrooms, toilets and kitchens including removal, installation or replacement of sanitary fixtures and associated piping, mirrors, wall and floor coverings.
Removal of tiling or concrete slabs in wet areas provided there is no damage to or alteration of original structure or fabric.
Installation, removal or replacement of ducted, hydronic or concealed radiant type heating provided that the installation does not damage existing skirtings and architraves and that the central plant is concealed.
Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring.
Installation, removal or replacement of electric clocks, public address systems, detectors, alarms, emergency lights, exit signs, luminaires and the like on plaster surfaces.
Installation, removal or replacement of bulk insulation in the roof space.
Installation of plant within the roof space.
Installation of new fire hydrant services including sprinklers, fire doors and elements affixed to plaster surfaces.
The process of gardening and maintenance, mowing, hedge clipping, bedding displays, removal of dead plants, disease and weed control, emergency and safety works to care for existing plants and planting themes.
Removal of vegetation that is not significant to maintain fire safety and to conserve significant buildings and structures.
The replanting of plant species to conserve the landscape character and plant collections and themes.
Repairs, conservation and maintenance to hard landscape elements, buildings, structures, ornaments, roads and paths, drainage and irrigation system.
Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard, Pruning of amenity trees AS4373.
Removal of plants listed as noxious weeds in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
Installation, removal or replacement of garden watering and drainage systems.
Non-structural works that occur at a distance greater than 5 metres from the canopy edge of a significant tree, plant or hedge, (structural works may require a permit if still on the registered land).
Non-commercial signage, lighting, security fire safety and other safety requirements, provided no structural building occurs.
Resurfacing of existing paths and driveways.
Non-registered buildings and structures on L1
All works, including demolition and internal modifications, but not additions.
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO. 1924 - Permit Exemption Policy
The 1936 building at Drouin Primary School has architectural and historical significance as an innovative and distinctive modern work by Percy Everett, and as a model plan for a school building. Modifications were made to the interior of this building in 1995. Intact interior elements include a platform, cupboards, blackboards and fireplace in one room and folding windows and fireplace in the adjoining room. The exterior of the building remains substantially intact.
The prefabricated aluminium Bristol building has architectural and historical significance as a representative example of this type of construction and as a reflection of the shortage of building materials and the growing population after the Second World War. It retains two blocks of classrooms, a corridor along one side and distinctive vertical fins on the other.
The purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not impact on the significance of the place to occur without the need for a permit. Alterations that impact on the significance of the exterior and interior of B1 and B2 are subject to permit applications. Works, including demolition and internal modification (but not additions), to the non-registered buildings do not require a permit.
Former Drouin Co-Operative Butter FactoryNational Trust
Corymbia ficifoliaNational Trust
Drouin War MemorialVic. War Heritage Inventory
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687