Building Facilities and Better Schools for our Kids Program

Canberra’s public school facilities are being renewed with new learning spaces, toilets and change rooms, garden and horticultural facilities, heating and cooling upgrades and energy efficiency improvements. Belconnen High School is receiving refurbished technology areas, upgraded outdoor learning and teaching environments and roof replacements. While other projects will expand the capacity of Harrison School, Gold Creek School, Neville Bonner Primary School and Palmerston District Primary School and increase the capacity of the new primary school in North Gungahlin, creating room for another 844 students. We will also carry out scoping and early planning for new schools in the Molonglo Valley and East Gungahlin, to ensure good local schools grow alongside these new communities.

New Primary School in North Gungahlin

Taylor Location Map

The new primary school in the suburb of Taylor in north Gungahlin will be a preschool to year 6 school catering for students from Taylor, Moncrieff and Jacka, the first suburbs being developed as part of the North Gungahlin development.

This new modern school facility will cater for 44 preschool and 600 primary school students when it opens for Term 1 2019, providing capacity for quality public education in this high-growth region. The planning will also allow for the accommodation of an additional 22 preschool students and 150 primary school students, and potentially a year 7-10 expansion if required to cater for future growth.

The school will be the first community facility provided in Taylor, including two playing fields, and the wider community will be able to hire the school hall, oval and meeting rooms for a range of activities and gatherings.

The new school will also include a resource centre, canteen, out of hours school care facilities, and great outdoor learning and play areas. Importantly, the school will also have specific facilities for music, and curriculum enrichment programs such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) to ensure we are equipping students for the best possible future. The new school will welcome its first students on the first day of the 2019 school year.

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Overview

A school modernisation will soon begin at Campbell Primary School and Narrabundah College. Some buildings at both sites are nearing sixty years of age and have reached the end of their useful life. Over time, the fabric of the buildings has altered and walls are subject to cracking. Due to friable asbestos material being present, some of the existing buildings cannot be upgraded. Therefore these particular buildings will be safely demolished. The air monitoring levels have continued to confirm there is no detection of asbestos in the air.

New transportable learning spaces will be located at both schools to allow for the relocation of classes from the affected buildings. Transportable learning spaces will be delivered during Term 4, 2017 at Campbell Primary School and Term 1, 2018 at Narrabundah College.

The ACT Government committed in the 2017/18 Budget $1.2M towards the Better Schools for our Kids program at Narrabundah College and Campbell Primary School. Because this funding has been provided, we are now proceeding with the first stage of this project which is relocation to modern transportable buildings.

The transportable buildings will be modern buildings and will be heated and air-conditioned. Pictures below are photos of transportable classrooms at Neville Bonner Primary School.

photos of transportable classrooms at Neville Bonner Primary Schoolphotos of transportable classrooms at Neville Bonner Primary School

Campbell Primary School

Campbell Primary School has some aged infrastructure that is ready for modernisation. Some of the buildings are over fifty years of age and have reached the end of their useful life. Over time, the fabric of some buildings have altered and walls are subject to cracking. Due to friable asbestos material being present, the existing Block B and Annex buildings cannot be upgraded. Therefore Block B and the Annex will be safely demolished and new learning areas developed to offer modern learning spaces. Alternative transportable learning spaces will be located at Campbell Primary School in Term 4, 2017 to allow for the relocation of classes.

Robson Environmental has been undertaking regular inspections at Campbell Primary School to ensure the ongoing safety of students and staff. The air monitoring levels have continued to confirm there is no detection of asbestos in the air, but we have decided to move students and staff towards the end of Term 4, 2017. Now is the right time to begin the program of works as Term 4 is typically a quieter time for primary school students. Regular inspection and testing by Robson Environmental will continue until demolition of the Block B and Annex buildings are complete.

The school community will be informed about the progress of the works including the recommended location for the transportable buildings. However the location will ultimately be determined by the building expert advice to ensure appropriate access to power, water etc. is available.

Transportable classrooms are being installed during Term 4, 2017. The school community will be updated around the timeframe for demolition works. More information about demolition of asbestos buildings can be found at: http://www.asbestostaskforce.act.gov.au/faqs/infosheets#demolition.

More information will be provided about the demolition, however it will follow these steps:

Stage 1: Planning and assessment. Stage 2: Site set up. Stage 3: Internal asbestos removal. Stage 4: Demolition. Stage 5: Soil testing.

Information about health related matters are also available at: http://www.asbestostaskforce.act.gov.au/faqs/infosheets#health.

Campbell Primary School will work with members of the school community to involve them in the planning and design of learning spaces for the future. The community will be informed about the opportunities to be part of this planning phase and we encourage the school community to think about the type of modern school they would like.

The first Information Booth was held on 26 October, 2017 at Campbell Primary School where the plans for the location and design of the transportable classrooms were shared with the school community. The transportable classrooms are outlined in orange and replace Block B and the Annexe buildings in the site plan below. An interior view of a classroom similar to those being built for Campbell Primary School is on the left.

photo of the internal classroommap of Campbell PS location

A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also available here: Frequently Asked Questions Campbell word icon (212 kb).

School Modernisation – (10 May 2018)

The landscaping works are well under way to improve the areas impacted by installation of the transportable buildings and the demolition of Block B and the Annexe

The landscaping works are well under way to improve the areas impacted by installation of the transportable buildings and the demolition of Block B and the Annexe. Students are enjoying playing on the synthetic turf to the playground located near the new buildings and the new sports storage shed (located near the BER building) is now in use.

The landscaping works are well under way to improve the areas impacted by installation of the transportable buildings and the demolition of Block B and the Annexe

Irrigation has been installed on the demolition site and new grass seed laid to assist with greening of the area. The construction fence will be removed once the turf is sufficiently established to provide an additional play area for the year 2-6 students.

Construction of the new hard courts is currently underway

Construction of the new hard courts is currently underway and we expect the courts will be ready for use by mid-June.

Narrabundah College

Narrabundah College has some aged infrastructure that is ready for modernisation. Some of the buildings are nearly sixty years of age and have reached the end of their useful life. Over time, the fabric of some buildings have altered and walls are subject to cracking. Due to friable asbestos material being present, the Blocks B, C and D buildings cannot be upgraded. Therefore these double storey classroom buildings will be closed and safely demolished. The air monitoring levels have continued to confirm there is no detection of asbestos in the air.

New transportable learning spaces will be used to allow for the relocation of classes from the affected buildings. The purpose-built transportable buildings have started arriving at the college and this will continue through to the end of April, 2018 (subject to weather). These buildings will be fitted-out as classrooms throughout Term 2 and include a range of specialist learning spaces such as science labs. A plan of the new building layout on the oval is available to view at the College reception, should you wish to view it.

Students and staff will commence teaching and learning in these contemporary classrooms at the start of term 3, 2018. The aged three double storey buildings, Blocks B, C & D (located at the northern end of the college site) will be closed off during the July holidays and demolished safely by expert contractors in periods when students are not at school. To ensure the ongoing safety of our students, staff and neighbours, regular inspection and testing of these buildings by Robson Environmental will continue until the demolition of Block B, C and D is complete.

the building works at Narrabundah Collegethe building works at Narrabundah College

Information about health related matters are also available at: http://www.asbestostaskforce.act.gov.au/faqs/infosheets#health.

Narrabundah College will work with the college community to involve them in the planning and design of learning spaces for the future. The community will be informed about the opportunities to be part of this planning phase and we encourage the college community to think about the type of modern school they would like.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also available here: Frequently Asked Questions Narrabundah word icon (249 kb).

Resources for School Communities

The ACT Public school capital upgrades program includes upgrades to heating and cooling systems and build on the recent artificial cooling of all school libraries and administration areas. This includes priority projects developed in consultation with the schools. A rolling program includes passive solutions such as external shading, building insulation and glazing treatments. Recent examples include the following:

2015-16 and 2016-17 – Air Cooling Program - Library Upgrades

  • Ainslie School
  • Campbell Primary
  • Caroline Chisholm Senior
  • Farrer Primary
  • Gilmore Primary
  • Gowrie Primary
  • Lyneham Primary
  • Majura Primary
  • Southern Cross Early Childhood School

2015-16 and 2016-17 – Air Cooling Program - Administration Areas

  • Amaroo School
  • Canberra High
  • Calwell High
  • Campbell Primary
  • Dickson College
  • Farrer Primary
  • Giralang Primary
  • Gold Creek School
  • Gordon Primary
  • Gowrie Primary
  • Harrison School
  • Majura Primary
  • Malkara School
  • Mawson Primary

Additional Projects:

Namadgi School - Heating upgrade to unit 4a
Dickson College - Cooling to two Learning Support Units including an electrical upgrade
Harrison School - Substantial repairs and upgrades to the boiler unit
Wanniassa School - Replacement of two cooling tower and new chiller
Gungahlin College - Heating upgrade and boiler repairs

The Education Directorate has investigated which schools may have Polyethylene Aluminium Composite (ACP) materials installed as external facade cladding.

ACP are predominantly used on the exterior facade of commercial buildings or as decorative cladding, particularly in newer buildings or those recently refurbished over the last 10 years.

There is a risk that some panels may have combustible cores (eg: polyethylene). However, this risk is considered very low for our schools.

It is also important to understand that all our schools have a high level of fire safety measures in place to support the evacuation of students and staff in the unlikely circumstance of fire.

We have recently undertaken an assessment of all our schools and through this work identified that there may be some schools with ACP installed. However it is yet to be determined if these ACP have a combustible core.

It is important to understand the risk is low and manageable at this time as the building has strong fire systems in place in the unlikely case of fire.

However the Education Directorate has decided, as a proactive measure, to work closely with the ACT Government to identify any further risks and if mediation is required on any of our schools.

Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding

If you would like to know more information about this issue, please speak with your school or call the Liaison Unit on 6205 5429 or online.

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