After almost two years of delays, preliminary works are about to begin on the new primary school at Googong.
While Member for Monaro John Barilaro announced the works as “an exciting milestone for the Googong community”, the Googong Residents’ Association said that the wheels of the project only began turning after a meeting with Mr Barilaro’s office less than two weeks ago.
The initial plan for the school was made public in June 2018 when the NSW Government announced the approval and planning of a public primary school for Googong.
Googong’s developers Peet and Mirvac said there would be 1000 primary school-aged children ready to fill the school in 2020.
Googong Residents’ Association executive member Candice Cox told Region Media they were pleased to hear that work on the Googong Primary School will now be progressing and that the NSW Department of Education had confirmed that the school would be ready to open for term one in 2022.
“The Googong Residents’ Association looks forward to the comprehensive community engagement process we have been assured will take place by the Department of Education,” Ms Cox said. “This will ensure the needs of our rapidly growing community are met.
“The Googong Primary School is at the core of the Googong community, our lifestyle and values, and is long anticipated by the plethora of young Googonian families.”
The new school will be built on 2.8 hectares of land set aside by the developers, adjacent to the new Googong North Village Centre.
The primary school at Googong has been proposed along with a public high school, in a model that replicates what is now happening at nearby Jerrabomberra.
Googong’s first private school, The Anglican School Googong, has been labelled a runaway success after it opened with junior primary and early years in 2015, and a public school has been a top priority for many years in the area.
Googong Project Director Malcolm Leslie also welcomed the progress of Googong’s second school.
“With more than 4800 people living in this thriving new town, the development of the community’s second school is an important milestone,” Mr Leslie said.
When Mr Barilaro attended his first meeting with the Googong Residents’ Association in June 2018, a new primary school was listed as one of two priorities by the community, along with the duplication of Old Cooma Road.
After more than 12 months with no correspondence, Ms Cox said the two parties met again less than two weeks ago when a flyer was distributed saying the school wouldn’t be ready until 2023.
On its website, developers Peet and Mirvac said, “Googong does have a private school, which has a wonderful reputation, but families need a choice in education for their children as not all of them are able to pay fees”.
Mr Barilaro said the preliminary works for the new primary school will begin this week.
“This is an important project for Googong. It will provide a much needed new primary school for the area, which will benefit the local community for years to come,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Like many others in the community, I’m looking forward to watching the new school take shape and I cannot wait to see students sitting down in classrooms in this brand new school.”
As preliminary works get underway, the community will also be invited to have their say on what innovative measures can be incorporated into the new school. This will be done through an online community engagement tool, to be launched in the coming days.
“We have the opportunity to create a unique school specifically for the Googong community, and it is vital the community plays a role in guiding what this new school will look like,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I encourage parents, students and other community members to start thinking about what they would like to see at this new primary school, so they’re ready to put their ideas forward when the site is online.”
Residents would have already noticed some changes at the site on Gorman Drive, next to the Googong North Village Centre car park at Googong.
The local branch of Joss Constructions will deliver the preliminary works. This includes the installation of temporary fencing, the preparation of the site for preliminary studies, geotechnical studies and surveys, the creation of an entry point to the site via Googong North Village Centre car park and the maintenance of the site including lawn mowing.
The next steps include the development of design, planning approval, and tender for main works.