Schools in New South Wales could be knocked down and classrooms rebuilt alongside high-rise apartments and tower blocks, according to reports.
Reports have surfaced that the state’s Department of Education and Communities is considering selling land and using the cash to redevelop schools as part of tower blocks which would include apartments.
The reports follow a meeting between earlier this week between education department representatives and the Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) from Ultimo Public School in inner Sydney earlier this week. NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli told the Daily Telegraph that he had been briefed on a proposal regarding capacity issues an increased pressure on enrolments.
A Department of Education and Communities spokesperson has confirmed that one plan presented to the school revolves around a mixed development site that includes a higher-density school, apartments and child-care centres.
Under this plan, separate entrance and exit points would be provided and there would be clear divisions between the school and other parts of the complex.
It is believed that student privacy would be protected through the use of nets and screen boards.
The Department spokesperson stresses the model being presented with regard to Ultimo did not represent any form of ‘mass template’, but there is no reason it could not be presented to schools in other areas.
In a statement, Piccoli stresses that the plan would not go ahead without prior approval from the school community.
“Not until the school community and the department have agreed on a proposal would the government consider any change,” he said in a statement.
The state opposition has slammed the concept, saying any plan to sell off Ultimo and force students to share buildings with private apartment tenants in tower blocks will limit playground space and is a direct example of the impact that budget cuts will have on education.