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Molonglo’s new school a glimpse to our zero-emissions future

Lachlan Roberts 21 September 2019 23
P-6 primary school in Denman Prospect

The new P-6 primary school in Denman Prospect is set to open in 2021. Images: Supplied.

Canberra’s 89th public school will also become the national capital’s second zero-emissions school, as the ACT Government revealed the first artist’s impressions of the school in Denman Prospect.

Following a tender process, Joss Construction has been tasked to deliver the new school in Molonglo Valley. Detailed design work has already begun, with construction expected to start later this year, ready for its first students in term one 2021.

The $47 million school is set to be built in two stages. The first stage will cater for up to 644 students from preschool to year six. The second stage, for students in years seven to 10, will come online as Molonglo grows.

The local community will have the opportunity to provide input into the school name, uniform and logo as part of the community engagement strategy for the school early next year.

ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry said the energy-efficient school will use onsite generated renewable energy to support the ACT’s target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

Ms Berry said the design of the school facility will focus on sustainability and environmental design following in the footsteps of Canberra’s first zero-emissions school, the Margaret Hendry School.

The school will incorporate both indoor and outdoor learning areas, as well as integrated spaces to support students with specialised needs.

“The ACT is leading the nation in climate action and school infrastructure is one way that the government can make a big difference towards reducing carbon emissions on behalf of the Canberra community,” Ms Berry said. 

“ACT public schools provide a great example of sustainable development in public facilities, and they set a positive example for our students and the whole community.

“The ACT Government is committed to doing the heavy lifting when it comes to action on climate change to reduce the impact on Canberra families.”

All public schools in the territory now have rooftop solar panels representing a total of 2,356 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic arrays. Last year, 21 schools had draught-proofing completed on doors helping to reduce heating requirements.

Over the next four years, the ACT Government will spend $15.9 million to upgrade heating systems in nine public schools as part of its energy-efficient heating system renewal program. Around 621 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved annually.

During the 2017-18 financial year, the government also reduced the energy consumption of public schools by 8.39 per cent through energy efficiency initiatives including infrastructure upgrades. 


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23 Responses to Molonglo’s new school a glimpse to our zero-emissions future
Acton 6:49 am 23 Sep 19

Will solar panels and battery storage be sufficient to run the schools air conditioners in the middle of a 35 degree day? Or run all classroom heaters on a chilly overcast winter day?

    Capital Retro 10:30 am 23 Sep 19

    Only on days when the teachers and students are absent through striking for climate change.

Andrew Lee Andrew Lee 6:54 pm 22 Sep 19

Good to hear.

Capital Retro 5:43 pm 22 Sep 19

“And they aren’t subsidized like coal.”

Last time I checked, royalties were paid to state governments for coal that was mined in Australia. I don’t think any royalties are paid on wind or sunshine before the renewable industry uses it so it looks like coal is actually subsidising the wind and the sun.

Shane Richards Shane Richards 4:18 pm 22 Sep 19

They will never make Zero emissions by then...anyone remember "No waste by 2010" ? Look how well that worked out...it's just another chance for them to tax us more. I'm sure they can reduce emissions...but to Zero will be all but impossible.

    Harry Vallianos Harry Vallianos 6:03 pm 22 Sep 19

    Shane Richards thank you. Remember when the garbage trucks used to get around with big stickers on them “ no waste by 2010” that all disappeared and everyone forgot about it

Margaret Gracie Margaret Gracie 3:58 pm 22 Sep 19

Why not require this of all new multi-story apartment blocks?

Capital Retro 1:22 pm 22 Sep 19

What is wrong is that we have no choices in using normal, reliably sourced electricity supply at a cheaper price. Remember when “Green” power (Greenchoices) was the new thing 15 years ago and virtue signalling consumers could pay a huge premium to get allegedly “green” electricity? It was a very contentious scheme and it was covered well by RiotACT: https://the-riotact.com/so-why-are-greenchoice-customers-paying-a-carbon-tax/79646

Now everyone will pay for all the subsidies that are included with renewables. What a con.

Ian McLeod Ian McLeod 11:18 am 22 Sep 19

Fantastic.

Harry Vallianos Harry Vallianos 10:59 am 22 Sep 19

These zero emissions targets set by the two dictators Barr & Ratenbury will make Canberra an unliveable City because it will cost to much to live there. Renewables cost more over time

    Russell Nankervis Russell Nankervis 11:04 am 22 Sep 19

    Not really. Technology gets cheaper over time

    Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 11:23 am 22 Sep 19

    who told you this Harry? Alan Jones?

    Jodie SB Jodie SB 11:35 am 22 Sep 19

    Harry Vallianos Sheeple right here!!! I wouldn’t believe everything you hear Harry...

    Elizabeth Ann Thurbon Elizabeth Ann Thurbon 11:42 am 22 Sep 19

    Harry Vallianos thank goodness I say for their foresight. Without more initiatives like this the whole world will be unliveable

    Corey Karl Corey Karl 12:24 pm 22 Sep 19

    To be fair.... if renewables werent heavily subsidised by the tax payer, they would be unaffordable!!

    Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 1:46 pm 22 Sep 19

    Harry Vallianos renewables cost less over time actually. And they aren’t subsidized like coal.

    Stephen Lawton Stephen Lawton 6:22 am 23 Sep 19

    Harry Vallianos so they're becoming cheaper each year because...?!!! 🤔

Daniel Evans Daniel Evans 10:14 am 22 Sep 19

So what’s the first zero emissions school? Where?

    Adam Tibballs Adam Tibballs 10:16 am 22 Sep 19

    Daniel Evans it says in the article

    Daniel Evans Daniel Evans 10:32 am 22 Sep 19

    Adam Tibballs the Margaret Hendry school, had not heard about it.. do you you know where because it does not say

    Brent Sloane Brent Sloane 10:34 am 22 Sep 19

    Margaret Hendry School is in Taylor, in Gungahlin. It was opened in February this year.

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 10:53 am 22 Sep 19

    what emissions levels where pumped into the atmosphere building these so called zero emissions schools??

    Daniel Evans Daniel Evans 11:53 am 22 Sep 19

    Brent Sloane thanks 👍🏻

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