Design for new $85m Kenny high school unveiled

Ian Bushnell 29 March 2021 8
School building

An artist’s impression of the proposed Kenny high school. Images: Clarke Keller Architecture.

First plans for the proposed high school to be built in Kenny – the last suburb to be developed in Gungahlin, have been released for community consultation ahead of a development application being lodged.

The $85 million school, expected to open in 2023, will cater for 800 students from years 7 to 10 with room for temporary expansion to accommodate up to 1000 if required.

The school will be located on Old Well Station Road, 400 metres from the Flemington Road light rail station, one kilometre from Harrison School (Preschool to year 10), one and a half kilometres from Franklin School (expanding to Year 6) and two kilometres from the new primary school in Throsby which opens in 2022.

The Education Directorate said the site was chosen because the school can be integrated into the development of the future suburb and is within walking distance of light rail.

To the south of the school site will be a nature reserve.

Clarke Keller Architecture, which has previously worked on projects at the Australian National University, Deakin Preschool and the Woden Park sports facility redevelopment, has designed the project.

The Directorate says the design responds to the strong connections with the surrounding nature reserve and adjacent heritage track, and the site’s east-west axis will ensure all internal spaces receive natural light.

It says the the building footprint creates a large internal courtyard sheltered from Well Station Drive and the building rises to two storeys with the natural fall of the site from north to south.

The school itself will provide high-quality general and specialist learning environments incorporating both indoor and outdoor learning areas as well as integrated spaces to support students with specialised needs.

Facilities available for community use outside of school hours are grouped together and will include a multipurpose hall, double gymnasium with basketball, netball, futsal and volleyball markings, covered hard courts suitable for basketball and netball, as well as an oval that can be used for soccer, rugby union and rugby league games.

As part of the Government’s commitment to action on climate change, the school will be a zero emissions operation and include about 100kw of solar power generation.

Transport Canberra and City Services will submit a separate DA for road infrastructure along Well Station Drive and a new Albatross Crescent extension that will service the school and the future suburb of Kenny.

Vehicle access to the school will be from the Albatross Crescent extension via a roundabout, .

There will be a southern/western onsite loop road and two car parking areas that will be available for community use out of hours. Bus bays are proposed along the new extension to Albatross Crescent.

Four-metre-wide shared paths will connect the school to light rail and the nearby path network, and signalised crossings are proposed at Kings Canyon and Albatross Crescent. The school will include a bike enclosure to encourage active travel.

Construction of the school is due to start this year and Icon SI Pty Ltd has been engaged as the Head Contractor and will lodge the DA for the school site, complete the detailed design and build the school.

The priority enrolment area for the new high school will be established in the second half of 2021 and enrolments will open in April 2022.

The community can offer feedback on the proposed design until 7 April.

There will be an online community information session on Tuesday 30 March from 6 pm to 7 pm.

The ACT Government’s indicative land release program shows releases for Kenny beginning in 2020-21 with blocks for 100 homes, according to last August’s budget update.


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8 Responses to Design for new $85m Kenny high school unveiled
mattm mattm 12:59 am 03 Apr 21

Pity they don’t spend at least 10% of that money mowing the grass. Canberra wouldn’t look like Detroit then.

Josh Loiterton Josh Loiterton 10:57 am 31 Mar 21

Phill Wansink found it

Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:15 pm 29 Mar 21

If this amount of taxpayers money was given to build a private school people would be screaming.

But of course private schools have to fund this themselves.

    mattm mattm 2:47 pm 30 Mar 21

    A government school, as its name suggests, is provided by, and therefore paid for, by government!!!
    Private schools should have to largely fund themselves and, given the fees they collect, shouldn’t attract as much government money as they do, which is at the expense of the government system.
    This is a great news story. Given the importance of education, every cent of the $85 million spent will be worth it.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 4:41 pm 30 Mar 21

    Thanks for confirming what I said.

Dan Rowley Dan Rowley 10:45 am 29 Mar 21

Great to see investment in much needed education infrastructure. I hope this spending is going to be extended to the many inner north primary schools currently facing years of over capacity, under resourcing and lack of infrastructure.

    Veronika Junakovic Veronika Junakovic 10:17 pm 30 Mar 21

    Dan Rowley agree Watson High School needs to reopen ✅

    Dan Rowley Dan Rowley 10:24 pm 30 Mar 21

    Veronika Junakovic I think the Watson site is a done deal for private use now unfortunately. That aside there is plenty of space around Dickson college for a three to four story high school.

    There is a pressing issue right now where most of the inner north primary schools are at capacity and heading beyond capacity again for 2022 and again year after year for at least the next 4-5 years. Even after a round of well publicised demountables being purchased right before the last election. There is only so much playground you can chuck demountables onto before real infrastructure ideas and solutions are required.

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