The ACT Government has opened community consultation about the future of Narrabundah College as the school looks to rebuild after asbestos was found on the campus in 2017.
Three asbestos-contaminated double-storey buildings on the northern end of the campus were demolished and replaced with 22 new transportable buildings on the oval. At the time, the ACT Government said the affected 60-year-old buildings had come to the end of their lives and it would begin a modernisation program of the school.
Education Minister Yvette Berry is now inviting the local community to have their say in the reshaping of the college, with community feedback to inform a feasibility study and some initial concept planning work.
Giving staff, students and the broader Canberra community an opportunity to share their ideas about the best way to modernise Narrabundah College, Ms Berry said the design of the buildings, the layout of the campus and what facilities and amenities are needed are all up for debate.
The only thing not up for discussion is the location, with the ACT Government committed to Narrabundah College operating on its current site.
“Operating for more than 40 years, Narrabundah College is well-loved and well-attended,” Ms Berry said. “Now it is time to talk about how it will operate for the next 40 years and beyond.
“The next step is the start of a longer-term project which may be undertaken in stages over the coming years. Feedback from the community will help shape the scope and duration of the modernisation of the college.
“The ACT Government intends for Narrabundah College to remain on the current site and will seek community views about how to best use the available space to meet future needs, within what is achievable.”
Funding of $750,000 in the 2018-19 ACT Budget will allow the ACT Government to commence initial concept planning work, a feasibility study and community consultation. The feasibility study will also determine what future funding is required to progress the modernisation process.
Narrabunah College’s principal Kerrie Grundy believes it is a very exciting time for the school.
“Narrabundah is a great school that achieves great things for its students,” Ms Grundy said. “Obviously some of the buildings are getting towards the end of their life, while some have already come down. This process is about setting up the college as a 21st-century learning space for all students.
“As part of this consultation, we also want the Narrabundah community to tell us not just about our education future, but also on the community connections and partnerships, facilities and amenities they expect from their local school
“We want to know what makes this school special to you, so we can ensure those aspects are maintained and preserved as we move Narrabundah College forward with the next stage of its development.”
Through an online scrapbook, pop-up events with interactive ideas boards at the college and in the community, theme workshops, as well as engagement with alumni and future students in surrounding primary and high schools, the community will get the chance to have their say.
To learn more about the consultation and have your say, click here. The consultation will close on 24 November.