1 December 2022

Googong Primary School to now open in stages following rain delays

| Claire Fenwicke
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An artist’s impression of Googong Primary School. Photo: School Infrastructure.

The already delayed Googong Primary School will now be opened in stages, after heavy spring rains created further issues with construction.

However students will still be on campus from day one, term one of 2023.

An Education Department spokesperson said despite the delay, the project was still on track to be completed on budget and would be operationally ready for the upcoming school year.

“Major works including delivery of all permanent learning spaces will be completed ahead of the start of the 2023 school year,” they said.

“Finalisation of landscaping and the kiss-and-drop [will occur] in 2023.”

The State Government is working with contractors to make sure stage one construction is finalised over the school holidays.

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A project update on the School Infrastructure website said ‘stage one’ included all the elements a school needed to operate.

“This includes Buildings A, B, C and D, student amenities, walkways, a carpark, and external play space,” it stated.

“On Gorman Drive, a new pedestrian crossing and footpath will be completed, and Aprasia Avenue will have a temporary kiss-and-drop zone in place.”

Building A contains the administration and library facilities, with classrooms to be located in Buildings B and C. Building D houses the canteen and hall.

Stage two works are expected to be completed in the first half of 2023, which includes landscaping the remaining play space and installing the permanent kiss-and-drop zone on Wilkins Way.

“The stage two landscaping work will be separated from the school community by a 2.1 metre high temporary fence and have its own entry gates,” the project update stated.

Works are taking place 7 am to 7 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Map of the staged delivery of Googong Primary School. Photo: School Infrastructure.

In a project already characterised by delays, some have been left frustrated this update was given so close to the summer holidays.

Googong Public School P&C president Candice Cox said given the school had originally been announced to be operational for the start of 2022, a staged opening in 2023 wasn’t what the community was promised.

She said she had been told a month ago a majority of the site wouldn’t be ready, and began trying to seek clarification about the delays and how they would impact the community.

“Personally, I believe that the budget for the construction phase of the school was delivered far too late to meet the day one, term two, 2022 or even the 2023 subsequent commitment comfortably,” Ms Cox said.

“The significant rainfall we have had this year would have had an additional impact, however I do not think it is the single cause.”

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However Ms Cox said she had noticed a marked increase in the number of workers on site, with work progressing at a more rapid pace.

“I have had the chance to meet some of the workers this week who said they have just been brought in from places like Sydney and Albury to finish the school,” she said.

“I am incredibly grateful for the construction crews and the extraordinary work they are doing, as I believe all GPS [Googong Primary School] parents would be.”

Ms Cox said she had been receiving more and more messages from concerned parents, and was glad some information had been communicated to put minds at ease ahead of the school holidays.

“All we have ever asked the NSW Government for is communication and transparency,” she said.

“Now that we have finally been provided that, we will all work together to ensure that the impacts to our school and community are minimised, and our children, principal and her team are given the support they need to make the school the best it can be.”

The finished school will accommodate up to 700 students in 30 flexible learning spaces and three support classrooms. There will also be administration and staff facilities, a library, hall, covered outdoor learning area and landscaped play spaces.

The project was originally promised by former Monaro MP John Barilaro ahead of the 2018 election.

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