Statement of Significance
Avoca Primary School was built in 1878 to provide accommodation for the growing number of children in the region. From the 1850s the growth of Avoca was greatly affected by the gold rush and the subsequent establishment of deep lead mines in the vicinity ensured a stable population for a number of years. The primary school was designed by Henry Robert Bastow, the chief architect and surveyor of the Education Department to cater for an expected enrolment of 324 pupils. Located near the original National School of 1856, it was built by Joseph Jarvis for 2,243 pounds.
The Avoca School is a single storey, asymmetrical, red brick building with simple cream brick banding and a high pitched, tent-like slate roof. The building is encircled by verandahs, which both shade the walls and provide shelter for the children. These verandahs become extensions of the main roof, but at a lower pitch. The main hip roof, with central fleche and slender chimneys, is intersected by hip and gable roofs, incorporating jerkin-head roofs, decorative gable ventilators and timber brackets. Some of the windows continue above the verandah and appear as triple lights.
Some alterations were made to the building in 1914, including the internal division of two classrooms, the creation of cloakrooms by infilling two sections of the verandah and changes to windows. Otherwise the building remains substantially intact.
How is it significant?
Avoca Primary School is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Avoca Primary School is of architectural significance as one of the first school buildings to incorporate verandahs in its design, showing a sensitivity to the Australian climate. The great tent-like form of the roof was highly innovative and the Avoca school was the first to demonstrate this distinctive form of the architect, Henry Bastow, since categorised as the Horsham-Avoca model. Although Horsham Primary School was designed in 1876, alterations made to the plan in 1880 deviated from the original concept and therefore Avoca most clearly shows Bastow's design intentions.
Avoca Primary School is of architectural significance as a precedent for a number of subsequent school buildings in Victoria. About twenty-five schools of this type were subsequently built, varying in size from one room to schools accommodating about 500 pupils. The last of this type was Swan Hill Primary School designed in 1901. Many variations occurred, including the exclusion of verandahs in full or part, but such elements as wide eaves, high triple lights and auxilary skillions were retained.
[Online Data Upgrade Project 2004]
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO. 4 - HistoryAvoca Primary School was built in 1878 to provide accommodation for the growing number of children in the region. From the 1850s the growth of Avoca was greatly affected by the gold rush and the subsequent establishment of deep lead mines in the vicinity ensured a stable population for a number of years. The primary school was designed by Henry Robert Bastow, the chief architect and surveyor of the Education Department to cater for an expected enrolment of 324 pupils. Located near the original National School of 1856, it was built by Joseph Jarvis for 2,243 pounds.
The draft statement of significance and the above history were produced as part of an online Data Upgrade Project 2004. Sources were as follows:
W. Jacob & K. Twigg. Avoca Shire Heritage Study. 1995
R. Peterson. Survey of Historic Schools in Victoria. 1993
L. Burchell. Victorian Schools. A Study in Colonial Government Architecture 1837-1900. Melbourne 1980
L. J. Blake. Vision and Realisation. A Centenary History of State Education in Victoria. Vol. 2. Melbourne 1973
PRIMARY SCHOOL NO. 4 - Permit ExemptionsGeneral 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. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component.
General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan all works shall be in accordance with it. Note:A Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan 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 must 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.