As plans for a new Jerrabomberra High School go on public display for the first time, residents have reiterated their concerns the new facility may not be big enough for the rapidly growing region.
Jerrabomberra Public School P&C president Kylie Prescott said parents are excited by the “really modern” design of the new school but harbour concerns about its current 500-student capacity.
“The Jerrabomberra community has voiced concern at the 500-student capacity for the initial phase of the high school build,” she said. “We have a primary school with more than 900 students, which means more than 100 students [coming to the high school] per year.
“If the high school was to have more than 100 students per year it would exceed that 500-student capacity very quickly.”
The P&C is also awaiting key information about when students can begin being enrolled, what year groups will be included in 2023, and zoning information.
Ms Prescott said ensuring the school is ready for students on day one of the 2023 school year is absolutely essential as families are now planning around that date.
The new school features 25 flexible learning spaces, a library, multipurpose hall, sports courts, a covered outdoor learning area and a canteen.
Jerrabomberra High School will initially accommodate around 500 students and 44 full-time staff on a 4.5-hectare site within the new South Jerrabomberra Innovation Precinct.
TKD Architects has designed the school, and dHindmarsh Construction Australia (ECI Contractor) was utilised to finalise the development application.
On Monday, 22 November, NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole, NSW Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor, NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell, and Member for Monaro John Barilaro attended the school site to announce that a development application had been lodged with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Mr Toole said the development application being lodged is an important step towards having the school ready for students for day one of the 2023 school year.
Mr Barilaro described the planned project as a “game-changer” for the Jerrabomberra community.
“When the NSW Nationals make a commitment to the community, we always follow through,” he said.
“This school will benefit students for generations to come and ensure our kids can live, learn and play in their own community.
“I can’t wait to see students sitting down in classrooms in this new high school on day one, term one, 2023.”
While the core facilities will be future-proofed to enable expansion to meet expected demand, NSW Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car echoed the prior concern from Jerrabomberra Public School P&C, saying families in Jerrabomberra will be “scratching their heads” at the decision to cater for only 500 students.
“The Perrottet Government is now saying the long-promised high school will only cater for 500 students, but the local public school already has more than 900 students,” she said.
“This government’s poor planning continues to leave Jerrabomberra worse off. It is infrastructure planning at its worst.”
There is a virtual information room freely available to the community on the NSW School Infrastructure website. The application will remain on public exhibition and open to submissions until Thursday, 9 December.
To provide feedback, head to the NSW Government’s Planning Portal website.