One of the oldest still operating state schools in Queensland has recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. The Fortitude Valley State School was opened in March 1861, operating firstly from the Foresters' Hall on the corner of Ann and Brunswick St, now the site of the Royal George Hotel. Here is a photograph that shows the early school building.
By 1867 the school had well and truly outgrown the one-roomed rented premises, and moved to purpose-built accommodation in Brookes St. It is a testament to the local community that over £100 was collected by subscription to supplement the government's cost of building the school. The new brick building was designed by Benjamin Backhouse, and consisted of two storeys.
As the Fortitude Valley area flourished further room became necessary, and in 1874 RJ Suter was called upon to design another school building. This one was also brick, and was built in Brookes St between the Backhouse building and the Valley police station. The male pupils were moved to the new building while the girls and infants remained.
Further changes that evolved over the years allowed the inclusion of an infants' wing and classes for "Opportunity" students. In 1950 a new building was erected on the other side of the railway line from the earlier buildings. This brought about co-ed classes and the incorporation of the infants' school into the main school body, with the Opportunity students housed in a separate annexe.
Fortitude Valley State School now operates out of only the 1950 building, with the other two remaining buildings now privately owned and heritage protected.
(Note: the original text has been altered to correct some factual errors).
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