Su­bi­aco school ‘unique’

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - ROCHELLE TETLOW

WA’S tra­di­tional foot­ball heart­land will be trans­formed into a three-storey, in­ner-city col­lege un­like any other in Aus­tralia, project di­rec­tor John Ni­cholas says.

Mr Ni­cholas has stud­ied and vis­ited schools as far afield as Hong Kong for ur­ban de­sign in­spi­ra­tion for the col­lege planned at Kitch­ener Park.

The fi­nal plans will also need to fit Su­bi­aco’s cul­tural her­itage and char­ac­ter, in­clud­ing Fed­er­a­tion ar­chi­tec­tural in­flu­ences, he said.

Ap­pointed the lead con­sul­tant last week, Mr Ni­cholas said high-rise schools were a new phe­nom­e­non for Aus­tralia.

The 2.4ha Kitch­ener Park site is set to be WA’s first three­storey public school.

The $68 mil­lion school would make use of the ad­join­ing Su­bi­aco Oval, although the Metropoli­tan Re­de­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity said it was too early for any de­ci­sions on how that would be done.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery said the new school would share the oval’s fa­cil­i­ties with the com­mu­nity.

“This is a unique op­por­tu­nity to utilise Su­bi­aco Oval into the de­sign of the new school and I’m con­fi­dent the end re­sult will be a win for the school and the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” she said.

Con­struc­tion of the in­nercity col­lege is due to be­gin mid-2018 and be com­plete for the start of the 2020 school year.

“It’s the most im­por­tant and chal­leng­ing school job we’ve ever done,” Mr Ni­cholas said.

The great­est chal­lenge for the joint-ven­ture team, Bate­man T&Z Ar­chi­tects, would be pro­vid­ing a suit­able so­cial space for stu­dents to en­joy out­side the class­rooms, Mr Ni­cholas said.

An in­ner-city col­lege was pro­posed by the La­bor Gov­ern­ment ear­lier this year as an al­ter­na­tive to re­lo­cat­ing Perth Mod­ern School and us­ing that site for a new lo­cal-in­take high school.

La­bor had de­vel­oped pol­icy prior to the State elec­tion for Perth Mod­ern School to re­lo­cate to a new high-rise Perth Aca­demic Col­lege near Ya­gan Square.

Public back­lash to North­bridge plans sent the party back to the draw­ing board.

Vi­sion drawn: The Kitch­ener Com­mon Master­plan shows the con­cept for the precinct, in­clud­ing an in­ner-city col­lege, apart­ments and the re­de­vel­op­ment of Su­bi­aco Oval.

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