New Inner City School Design – Is it right?

According to the Sydney newspaper in Australia, The Daily Telegraph yesterday(18 Oct 2012, page 2), the New South Wales(NSW) State Government is considering on changing the planning of inner City schools due to lack of space and an increased demand for housing and enrollment places. Those parents sitting on the Parents & Citizens Committee who were briefed on the plan of their school(Ultimo Public School) by an Education Department Director felt horrified by what they heard.

Basically, the proposal is to demolish the Ultimo Public School sitting on 2 hectares/4.94211 acres of land space, the land sold to Developers who would build high rise buildings consisting of commercial and residential space and the new school. This would see the Primary(Elementary) School having to share sporting facilities or use public open space for outdoor activities.

This proposal would see the school enrollment numbers double to cope with the growth of population. Parents at the meeting aired concerns with child privacy and child protection. The Department told parents that nets and screen boards  could be used for the protection of privacy of the students at the redeveloped site.

The NSW Education Minister, Adrian Poccoli has said that there is no secret about the shortage of capacity for inner city and norther suburb schools. A parent has said that the P&C understands that the school is at capacity but does not believe that sandwiching the school amongst a high rise building is the answer.

Personally, I would like to see this plan and have it explained before one could make a judgement. I would also like to know if this has already been done anywhere in the World for if it has, what did they do, why did they do it and how did it work? Was it a success for a failure? What worked and what didn’t work? All those questions need to be asked.

Myself personally, I have no idea but I certainly might not have any objections if the genuine safety of children can be assured. I don’t believe that we have the right to hide our children away from society but make them part of it. One very large and important community. Having the kids using public space could be good instead of only releasing them into the Wild when they are an adult.

Reference material is from the Sydney(NSW, Australia) newspaper, The Daily Telegraph on page 2 titled, “High-rise plans for city’s most cramped schools”. – I cannot find any information on the internet.

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