By 1980 enrolments at the school numbered 581 children. At this time the school had the services of a landscape gardener (shared between five schools) and this helped the school win first prize in the Footscray Council's beautification awards. It was not the first time the school had won the award. A working group was formed in preparation of major developments of the school buildings. Stage one was expected to cost close to $300,000. The school had lacked a hall for many years and the building of this hall was the first priority. By July 1980 portable toilets had arrived and the Footscray Council began the nearby construction of a foot bridge over Stony Creek at the end of Julian Street. We still use this footbridge today.
Book Week was celebrated with gusto in 1980 and almost everyone, students and staff, dressed as their favourite book character. A school fair was held in June and a school social was held at Footscray High School, with both a bush band and Yugoslavian and Greek dancing. The Under 12 crossball team, the softball teams, the soccer team and the volleyball teams were all premiers of the local school competition.
Construction of the much needed hall took place in 1981. Portable toilets were bought in as a result of the disruption to the usual bathroom facilities. The Minister for Education, the Honourable A.J. Hunt, declared the hall open on the 8th September, 1981. The official opening was celebrated with a 'Fun and Frolic' night with music provided by a bush hand. A plaque to commemorate the event is displayed inside on the east side of the hall.
By 1982 there were 560 children enrolled at the School. The school fair raised a profit of $2500 and the Mother's Club ran a film night in the hall. The hall was also being used by the Kingsville Callisthenics Group, a local Jazz Ballet group and a Ballroom Dancing group. Sometime in 1982 a slippery slide was set up for the Grade 6 children in the yard, who had a great time slipping and sliding along the foamy, soapy length of plastic. No doubt all the other children were very jealous that they could not have a turn.
1982 was also significant in that it was the year that the Minister of Education abolished corporal punishment in schools. This meant you could no longer be rapped over the knuckles or buttocks with a ruler, cane, belt, or even in fact a teachers hand. The second stage of the building development was completed when the ground floor was gutted and the five classrooms in the south and middle sections were completely changed. The two classrooms at the southern end of the main building were converted into a single room and set up as a large art room with its own office and storeroom. The other three classrooms saw massive changes, with the first room being set up as a staff room while the other two were altered to accommodate a new entrance, offices for the principal, vice principal and the bursar, a meeting room, sick bay and two storerooms.
On 4th July 1983 Merriwa Kindergarten, which adjoins the school, opened. One of the climbing frames still used in the kindergarten originally came from the school. Construction of a new library within the school was completed and the old library was converted to a classroom. The playground on the east side of the building, originally used by the junior grades was fenced off and made into a staff car park.
By 1984 enrolments had reached 553. Six bushwalking camps were scheduled, with most of these running at weekends. The new renovated wing of the school was officially opened on the 15th August 1984 and this included the new general office, the principal's office, sick bay, storeroom, hall foyer, art room, staffroom and the new library. Computers for the children to use were mentioned for the first time and some of the fundraising activities for this year included a walkathon, raffle, chocolate drive, wine bottling and a fashion parade.
In 1986 enrolments at the school had dropped to 465 students. Commodore computers were used by the students, and as you can see by this picture they look a lot different to the sleek desktop machines and iPads what we use today!
By 1987 enrolments had dropped to 410 students, with 27 staff. The school was re-plastered and re-painted and more Commodore computers were purchased. A fete was held in October and two cricket teams, one tennis team, one volleyball team and a softball team competed in the local school sports competition. A new behaviour code was also introduced in 1987 and the school's postal address was officially changed from Somerville Road to 58 Bishop Street, Yarraville. This is the address that we still use today. Fundraising activities included a chocolate drive, a Mother's Day stall, a Christmas Hamper and a Back to Kingsville dance and Spit Roast. The Grade 4, 5, 6 camp was held in Bendigo and bushwalking groups also sent to the Brisbane Ranges and to the Grampians.
In 1988 many actives and excursions were held. These included an Obstathon (which is like an obstacle course), a Grade 2/3 sleepover held in the library, and a Grandparents Day. Excursions were held at Innisfail Farm, the Fitzroy Gardens, You Yangs, the Royal Melbourne Zoo and a beach walk around Black Rock and Mordialloc. The school also won an award from the Footscray City Council Bicentennial Beautification Competition.
By 1989 enrolments had dipped further to 400 students. Unfortunately the school was broken into several times over the year and some computer equipment and a video cassette player was stolen. It was also in 1989 that our current principal, Kath Ginnane joined the school. Ms Ginnane was officially appointed principal in 1990 and is the longest serving principal that Kingsville has ever had.