Bega’s Mumbulla School for Rudolf Steiner Education is buzzing.
The School has purchased a 2.3-acre section of the old ‘Spenco’ land on Bega Street from Spotlight Group Holdings. Adjoining the current school campus, the land will be used to build new Kindergarten classrooms, awakening a site that has done nothing more than grow weeds for over a decade.
The largely vacant land has been part of the Spotlight portfolio since 2016 when the company was part of a consortium that moved in on Woolworths’ failed Masters assets.
Mumbulla School Business Manager, Hallie Fernandez says, “Spotlight Group have been very professional to work with.”
“It was clear from the start that they understood the value this land has to our school. We are so grateful that everyone involved had a focus on creating a wonderful opportunity for our current and future students, families and staff.”
A new Kindergarten has been a priority in the Mumbulla School Strategic Plan for a number of years.
The primary school which today boasts around 180 students, had its origins in the current Kindergarten building. What was an old commercial laundry was transformed by the founding parents and teachers and became Mumbulla’s first classroom in 1988.
Kindergarten Teacher and founding member of the school Chrisanthi McManus is bursting with excitement about the new land purchase.
“With so many special memories, we will all continue to hold the current Kindergarten rooms in our hearts,” she says.
“The teacher in me cannot wait to work in a new building which has been purpose build for Kindergarten needs.”
Driving the new kinder project is a $450,000 Commonwealth Government grant. This land purchase gives the school a blank canvas to work with.
The large site has an industrial history and sits on the Bega River floodplain. In the early to mid-2000’s the land was slated for a large bulky goods development that incorporated Bunnings.
The portion of the land the school will use as a building site sits above the flood zone. The rest of the land, running all the way to the front of Spenco Lagoon, holds myriad possibilities for the nature-loving, creative hearts and minds of the Mumbulla School community.
Given the Spenco site’s dirty environmental record, a number of extensive assessments have had to be completed and after approval from Bega Valley Shire Council, the community will start to see further remediation work take place before the Kindergarten development starts.
Local consultant Town Planner, Garrett Barry believes the land purchase is an excellent outcome for the environmental stewardship of the land.
“Mumbulla School is already recognised as having beautiful grounds and treading lightly on the earth. It will comfort neighbours and locals to know that this will continue.”
It’s hoped construction will start this year with Kinder students busting through the door sometime in 2020.
The school is collecting tax-deductible donations, big or small to realise the ambitious project. Contact Mumbulla School’s Finance Department for more information.
#Ian Campbell is a former volunteer director of the Mumbulla School Board.