The planned $85 million high school in the developing northern suburb of Kenny is set to open in 2023 after the project was “called in” to ensure there were no delays.
Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman used his call-in powers to approve the development application for the 800-student, Year 7 to 10 facility. Construction will start later this year.
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), 1.5 km from Franklin School (expanding to Year 6) and 2 km from the new primary school in Throsby which opens in 2022.
The Education Directorate said the site was chosen because the school could be integrated into the development of the future suburb and is within walking distance of light rail.
Designs for the project were released in March for community consultation.
Mr Gentleman said he wanted to ensure the development of Kenny High School stays on schedule in such a strong growth area.
“I have carefully considered the feedback that was received during the public notification period, and I have placed strict conditions on the development, including compliance requirements for utility service providers and additional measures for protecting the ecological values of the adjacent reserve,” he said.
“I’ve also approved upgrades to Well Station Drive to facilitate access to the school, through the provision of two new signalised intersections, a new shared path and new bus bays.”
The school will provide high-quality general and specialist learning environments incorporating both indoor and outdoor learning areas and integrated spaces to support students with specialised needs.
Facilities available for community use outside of school hours are grouped. They 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.
As part of the government’s commitment to action on climate change, the school will be a zero-emissions operation and include about 100 kW of solar power generation.
ACT Minister for Education and Youth Affairs Yvette Berry welcomed the call-in, saying it gave the government the best chance of having the school ready for the start of the 2023 year.
In August, Mr Gentleman called in another government project – the $600 million Canberra Hospital expansion – to keep it on track.