The first sod’s finally been turned on Googong Public School, but the long-delayed construction has been met with criticism from the opposition.
NSW Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell described the event as a “historic day for local families”.
“The rapidly growing Googong community deserves a great local school for their kids – and that’s what we’re delivering,” said Ms Mitchell.
“With construction of the school now underway, the community can be assured that students will be in the classrooms on day one, term one, 2023.
“I’m so excited to see our vision for this school come to life. It will be an absolute game-changer for local families who will be able to get a top-class education for their kids right here in Googong,” she said.
Once delivered, Googong Public School will include flexible learning spaces, a library, special programs rooms, a covered outdoor learning area, green space and administrative facilities to accommodate as many as 700 students.
The ceremony also introduced Googong Public School’s founding principal Rebekah Lindsay to the announcement.
Ms Lindsay is experienced in educational leadership, including recently as principal of Cooma Public School. Before that, she was assistant principal in Queanbeyan.
The site for the school, next to the Googong North Village Centre, was selected in August 2018. At that time, the hope was that construction would be completed by the end of 2020.
Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson said the delay had let down local families. He said parents who had planned to send their children to the school in Googong had been forced instead to enrol them in Queanbeyan schools.
“Googong has been promised this much-needed school for years now, and the government has failed to build it,” Mr Wilson said.
“It’s taken a by-election to get any progress. Enough photo ops. Just get on with it and build the school.”
Construction will occur between 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturdays. Individual concerns or feedback about the project and its construction process can be directed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 482 651.