28 June 2021

First look: Murrumbateman primary school plans go on exhibition

| Hannah Sparks
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Artist's impression of entrance to new Murrumbateman primary school

An artist’s impression of the main entrance to the new primary school in Murrumbateman. Photo: Pedavoli Architects.

Plans for a primary school that will accommodate up to 368 students in Murrumbateman have been released, and locals are encouraged to have their say.

The new school will consist of four separate buildings – blocks A, B, C and D – positioned in an inverted ‘U’ shape around a sheltered and central outdoor area.

Three of the four buildings will be two-storey – blocks A, B and C – and contain classrooms, a library, administrative facilities, a canteen, storage rooms and amenities.

There will be 16 classrooms in total, including two special education learning units.

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Next to block A and opposite block B will be a hall/out-of-school-hours building – block D – with a covered outdoor learning area.

The chosen site at 2 Fairley Street, Murrumbateman, is located in front of Murrumbateman Health Hub, near Fairley Early Childhood Service and across the road from Abode Hotel.

It’s a vacant block that was intended for a restaurant, brewery and four commercial buildings. However, that development never progressed.

There is already onsite parking with 40 spaces and access to Barton Highway and Fairley Street.

Artist's impression of outdoor area at new primary school in Murrumbateman

The four school buildings of the new primary school in Murrumbateman will be built around a sheltered outdoor area. Photo: Pedavoli Architects.

In addition, there will be a kiss-and-ride area built between the car park and school for parents and carers dropping off children, plus a new bus bay in front of the Health Hub.

The school will be built using colours and textures desaturated in tone, drawing on the surrounding rolling hills and valleys and based on discussions between the NSW Department of Education and Aboriginal stakeholders during pre-lodgement consultation.

The roof will be light coloured to achieve low solar absorbance, and materials will be selected that are durable and low maintenance. Brick has been selected for the hall to match the surrounding buildings and the earthy tones found in the landscape.

In addition, about 105 native and 37 exotic trees will be built around the school and car park.

Once opened, the school will hire about 25 staff and three maintenance and cleaning staff.

It will be accessible between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm on weekdays. Out-of-school care will run from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

If approved, construction of the school will take place between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm on weekdays, and 8:00 am and 5:00 pm on Saturdays. There will be no work on Sundays or public holidays.

Overlay image of site for new primary school in Murrumbateman

The site chosen for the new primary school in Murrumbateman is opposite the village’s medical practice and near the childcare centre. Photo: Pedavoli Architects.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the public exhibition period means the community is a step closer to benefiting from the new school.

“This is exciting for the Murrumbateman community, and I am proud the NSW Government is continuing to deliver modern school facilities to provide for students now and into the future,” she said.

Projections indicate there will be an unmet demand of 435 students by 2036 in the Murrumbateman region if the school is not built.

The village is the second-largest settlement in the Yass Valley and has a population of about 3200.

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Many Murrumbateman children already attend public and private schools in the ACT because they’re easier to access than the public schools in Yass.

What’s more, Murrumbateman is expected to grow by an additional 900 dwellings, which is estimated to bring 150 additional primary school students to the area.

Pressure is also mounting on the NSW Department of Education to increase schools close to the ACT border as ACT enrolment policy changes, which is expected to reduce cross-border student enrolments.

A virtual information room will be available for the local community, offering a first look at plans and artist renders of the new school.

Plan for new primary school in Murrumbateman

An overview of the buildings planned for the new primary school in Murrumbateman. Photo: Pedavoli Architects.

The room will be available from 9:00 am on Monday, 28 June, until 5:00 pm on Friday, 2 July, via the School Infrastructure NSW website.

Alternatively, residents can view the plans on the NSW Department of Planning’s website under ‘Major Projects’ until Wednesday, 14 July.

Plans include designs and reports on the environmental amenity, transport and accessibility, sustainability, heritage, Aboriginal heritage, and bushfire risk.

Anyone can make a submission about the development application during the exhibition period on the project’s webpage.

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This site seems to be too small for a school with the number of students that are suppose to be attending. Maybe the artists impression could have 368 students drawn on the playground area to see how spacious it looks. Also, there does not appear to be any provision for children that will be arriving and leaving by bus.

The proposed bus bay is at the top left of the map – the question is by what path will the kids walk to the school grounds without crossing the driveway to the health hub?

The school needs to be K-12. With no option for a high school people will continue to put kids into Canberra schools as it will be easier in the long run. Use the grassy woodland and build a K-12.

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