18 October 2023

Take a look at what Ginninderry's first school will look like

| Ian Bushnell
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school buildings

An artist’s impression showing the forecourt entry to the proposed Strathnairn Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to Year 6 school. Images: CK Architecture.

The designs for the first school to be built in the Ginninderry development in Canberra’s north-west have been unveiled for public consultation ahead of a development application being lodged.

The government Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to Year 6 school will be built in Ginninderry’s first suburb, Strathnairn, opposite The Link community centre and bound by Asimus Avenue, Pro Hart Avenue and McClymont Way.

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The new school was a 2020 government election promise and will take up to 780 students from pre-school to Year 6 and 130 early childhood places.

It is expected to be completed in time for the 2025 school year.

school buildings

A courtyard view of the Early Childhood and Care Centre.

Like other new schools in Canberra, it will be named, usually after a prominent person, through a formal process involving key stakeholders and the community.

The nearly five-hectare site (Block 7 Section 37) is currently a future urban area, but the Planning and Land Authority has approved an Estate Development Plan (EDP) Development Application to subdivide the block for a school, a public open space block incorporating a water quality control pond and the associated extension of McClymont Way to link up with Asimus Avenue.

Early depictions show three wings fanning from a front section and a separate building for a multipurpose hall, all set in landscaped gardens among trees. The tree canopy will amount to little more than a quarter of the site.

The school will include facilities to support integrated learning, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), food technology, and music and drama, and a library/interactive learning resource.

In addition to a gym in the hall, there will be a kick-about field, outdoor learning areas, and settings for performance, play and recreation.

andscape layout of school

The school landscape plan shows the building layout and proposed gardens and trees.

There will also be spaces for administration, a school psychologist, a staff lounge, a multi-faith room and a canteen.

The hall will also have a stage, music rooms, toilets and a kitchen.

All school facilities, including the streetfront car park, will be designed so they can also be used by the community, including sports groups.

The school security fencing is intended to protect the buildings without limiting access to the key community facilities so they can be readily used outside school hours.

“The new school in Strathnairn will respond to initial primary school enrolment demand in the area and provide public school students and teachers with contemporary and modern learning/teaching facilities,” the project page says.

school hall

The school’s multipurpose hall will have a gym, stage and other facilities.

The project encompasses several social objectives, including Indigenous participation in recognition of the cultural significance of the site and its context within the Ginninderry community, ecologically sustainable development, local industry participation, and recruitment of a diverse workforce.

It is also a pilot for female participation, with an all-women site management team and female representation among each subcontractor working on the project.

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The project team includes Icon Construction, part of the Japanese Kajima Corporation, and Canberra firm CK Architecture.

Purdon Planning is conducting community consultation for the government. A drop-in information session will be held at The Link on Saturday, 21 October, from 11 am to 11:30 am.

To learn more and view all the plans, go to the project page on the Purdon website.

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