Education Minister Sue Ellery has affirmed the State Government’s commitment to quickly rebuilding the century-old Broome Primary School, after it was set on fire by an alleged arsonist who escaped from prison on Sunday. Ms Ellery met with principal Jared Lawson and government workers in the North West town this morning to fast track plans to repair the partially destroyed school, with the total damage bill believed to be $5 million. It is alleged Maude Dixon, 22, set fire to the mattress in her cell to aid her escape of Broome Regional Prison, before starting the blaze at the school at about 4pm, which left four classrooms, a meeting room and storeroom in ashes. She has been charged with two counts of criminal damage by fire and escaping lawful custody. Ms Ellery said experts had already been engaged to determine if there was an asbestos risk in the impacted block of the school and that a timeline for any demolition and rebuild would soon follow. She said teaching in demountable classrooms or temporarily hosting children at other local schools could be options for Term 1, as 400 students prepared to return in less than three weeks. “We’ll do everything in our power as a government to restore Broome Primary School,” she said. “The next 48 to 72 hours will have things starting to move quickly. “Plans need to be worked out about what options are available for us for day one and the first couple of weeks when we return to school – what that looks like will be dependent on the timelines around any demolition and rebuild.” Ms Ellery said community engagement was crucial in trying to preserve Broome’s oldest school. “The community voice would be included in any design work about what replaces the buildings that have been destroyed to ensure that we recognise and keep an important part of the cultural and historical context,” she said. Mr Lawson said Ms Ellery’s visit was an “incredible sign of support” that the government was helping to move forward and get the best possible outcome for the school.