School upgrade gets closer

More details have come to light about delays to the planned upgrade of Bardia Public School.

The school, formerly called Ingleburn North Public School, is due to be expanded so it can cater for 1000 students.

It currently has a capacity for 300.

The upgrades were originally supposed to be ready by the first term of 2018 but approval delays have forced the projected finish to early 2019.

The Department of Education’s original development application allowed for just 10 parking spaces at the school – a number Campbelltown Council felt was insufficient.

The council and the department have finally reached an agreement which will allow the project to proceed and provide a greater level of parking for teachers, staff and visitors.

Councillors were set to vote on a Memorandum of Understanding between the two groups at last night’s council meeting, after the Advertiser went to print.

The memorandum would see the council construct a parking area which could be used by the school, but ultimately remain the council’s property.

“The [Department’s original] development proposal provided only ten parking spaces and no provision for bus parking or student pick-up and drop-off facilities,” the council report stated.

“Whilst council will complete the required work [on the new car park], the department will be required to fund all costs.

“Ongoing maintenance of the area will be at council’s cost.

“The department will not own or pay rent for the land, but can only utilise if for access, drop off and parking purposes.”

A Department of Education spokesman said they were “satisfied with the agreement”.

“The Memorandum of Understanding will provide for additional parking spaces on MacDonald Road to support both the Bardia Public School community and the wider community as part of the open space development,” he said.

“The department is pleased to work with Campbelltown Council to meet the needs of the local community.”

The spokesman refused to answer why the Department deemed 10 parking spaces to be sufficient in the first place.

Campbelltown Council staff have recommended councillors support the agreement as it will “create a practical solution for the school and community without disadvantaging the council” and “ensure council maintains long-term ownership and control the land”.

It is unclear exactly how many parking spaces, and bus provisions, the proposed bay will include.