P&C input to Project Advisory Group

INPUT PROVIDED TO WILLOUGHBY PRIMARY SCHOOL & WILLOUGHBY GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT ADVISORY GROUP

ISSUE

Significant increase in student numbers has led to serious overcrowding issues at Willoughby Public School (WPS) with nine demountables on site. Key concerns from the overcrowding include:

    • Lack of playground space for children
      • Increased potential for accidents in the playground
      • Increased potential for incidences of bullying
      • Children unable to use balls at recess and lunch
      • Grassed areas changed to ‘astroturf’ (due to wear and tear)
    • Reduced library lessons for children
    • Other school facilities (e.g. school hall) are not able to cope with the school population
    • Congestion and student safety issues in streets surrounding and approaching the WPS and WGHS site.

Willoughby Girls High School (WGHS) is operating at above reasonable capacity. There are ten demountables which have been in place for some time. There are also several facilities that are very old and would benefit from upgrading (e.g. science laboratories).

Better demographics and forecasting of future enrolments based on the current population and new developments is needed, given WPS is just short of the DET projected long term numbers.

A long term solution is needed for the entire site that considers the population of the schools over the next 15 years and into the future. Accurate forecasting of student numbers is essential for the Masterplan development brief.

 

MASTERPLAN

A masterplan for the entire WPS / WGHS site is required. The masterplan brief is to be developed based on sound demographics. The masterplan should consider innovative solutions to the problem.

Consideration should be given to:

    • Acquisition of land:
      • Penshurst Street
      • Mowbray Road
    • High density multi storey buildings (4-6 storeys where appropriate such as on Penshurst St) to maximise available outdoor playground space
    • Appropriate number of modern flexible learning spaces

Specific facilities of great need include:

    • New hall and COLA sized appropriately for the growing primary school population
    • Library spaces sized appropriately for the school populations
    • Refurbishment of existing school buildings into modern flexible learning facilities
    • Dedicated specialty rooms / facilities such as music room, computer rooms etc
    • High quality science laboratories
    • High quality TAS spaces and art facilities
    • outdoor sporting facilities such as netball courts, astro-turf field (for hockey/soccer)
    • grassed outdoor facilities for sport and play spaces
    • Investigate  shared facilities between the two schools and possible community use:
      • multipurpose gymnasium / indoor sports hall
      • performing arts space – music and drama
    • Appropriate number of toilet facilities for each school
    • Appropriate number of change room facilities co-located with facilities
    • Senior common room / senior study area for high school
    • OOSH facilities
    • Ancillary spaces such as uniform shop/s and canteens
    • Appropriately sized staff and administrative facilities for the school populations
    • Co-located high school staff facilities to facilitate collegiate atmosphere amongst staff
    • Appropriately sized staff car parks (investigate placing under building/s to maximise outdoor space)
    • Weather protected walkways

 

SHORT TERM

Options to ease the overcrowding need to be implemented in the short term. In developing options, consideration should be given to:

    • Leasing additional land (e.g. the vacant block on Penshurst St) for carparking or demountable classrooms to maximise the available playground space.
    • Demolition / removal of small timber buildings / single storey demountables and replacement with a number of two storey demountables to maximise playground space.
    • Utilisation of the two laneways (off Oakville Road and Keary Street) for use for demountables to maximise playground space.