19 December 2019

New future for Spenco land as Mumbulla moves on Kindergarten dream

| Ian Campbell
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Mumbulla children look on as rehabilitation works start on the old Spenco site ahead of construction of the school's new Kindergarten building. Photo: Supplied.

Mumbulla children look on as rehabilitation works start on the old Spenco site ahead of construction of the school’s new Kindergarten building. Photo: Supplied.

Old industrial land in central Bega is being reborn with a dynamic childhood led by education at the heart of its new future.

Mumbulla School for Rudolf Steiner Education begun earthworks on the former Spenco site this week.

The school announced in term 1 this year that it had purchased a 2.3-acre section of the site on Bega Street from Spotlight Group Holdings; adjoining the current school campus.

The largely vacant land had been in the Spotlight portfolio since 2016 when the company was part of a consortium that moved in on Woolworths’ failed Masters assets.

There have been a number of proposed commercial uses for the site none of which have come to fruition.

In the early 1870’s, the land was used by a tannery and owned by John Spence. In the 1960s, the site was developed into a trucking firm, Spenco, which closed in the 1980s. Since then, the land has been the site of a second hand building materials warehouse but generally remained vacant and an excellent home to weeds.

With the site now under the school’s control, it will be rehabilitated before construction starts on a purpose-built Kindergarten.

The school’s Business Manager Hallie Fernandez says a new Kindergarten has been a priority in Mumbulla School’s Strategic Plan for many years.

“The current Kindergarten building was originally a commercial laundry and was converted to classrooms for the school to open in 1988,” she says.

“Our neighbours and the local community will see movement on the land over the next year.

“With a beautiful new Kindergarten at the end of it.”

With Mumbulla School as the new stewards of the land, the community can be assured that positive environmental benefit will extend to the adjacent Spencer Lagoon which feeds into the Bega River.

Local consultant Town Planner, Garrett Barry believes its an excellent outcome for the wider community.

“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.”

Helping to fund the new Kindergarten classrooms, due to open in 2021, is a grant of $450,000 from the Commonwealth Government Block Grant Authority.

“We are so grateful that everyone involved had a focus on creating a wonderful opportunity for our current and future students, families and staff,” Ms Fernandez says.

Anyone wishing to know more about the rehabilitation work can contact the School on 6492 3476.

Bega Street is a hive of progress at the moment with news this week that the Katungal Aboriginal health organisation has purchased the vacant Casuarina aged care facility from Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care.

“We’re so excited to officially share with the community that we have invested in this space. We have so many ideas for this new premises,” says Joanne Grant, Katungul Acting CEO.

“It has so much potential to serve our local community, filling the many service gaps we may have here on the south coast.”

Disclaimer: Ian Campbell is a former volunteer director of the Mumbulla School Board.

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