Picton High School redevelopment concerns resolved

Parents will be relieved to learn that students will not be disrupted when demolition begins at Picton High School next year.

Plans are expected to be finalised by the end of the year for the $100 million rebuild, modernisation and expansion of the school.

The school will be built to accommodate 2000 students with new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities.

Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell said several major concerns have been worked out since the funding announcement in June.

“The original plan was for students to move from building to building as they were knocked down,” he said.

“Instead the students will be housed in the buildings that aren’t being demolished as well as in demountables, which will have air-conditioning.

“This means they won’t have to keep changing classrooms which is a good outcome for the students.”

Extensive asbestos testing underground has also been conducted.

“Everything that contains asbestos has been identified and if something is found during the build then there is enough money in the budget to cover the cost to properly remove it,” Mr Rowell said.

The MP said there would be no reduction in car park spaces and the “possibility of more spaces” was being discussed.

The front of the school will also be beautified and Mr Rowell said the Department of Education had worked with the bus company and Wollondilly Council to iron out traffic problems around the school.

“At the moment the flow of vehicles, especially the buses, is clunky and not ideal,” he said.

“The road outside of the school is owned by the council so we have worked closely with them to improve the flow of traffic.”

Mr Rowell said mining issues had also been resolved.

“The existing mine won’t impact the school and it will be future proofed because the mine will go around not under the school,” he said.

The design of the redevelopment has remained consistent from when the upgrade was announced.

In June, Picton High School’s deputy principal Vanessa Harrison said the funding injection would see the school moved into the 21st century.

“There will be new learning classrooms, break out rooms, specialist areas for performance, sport facilities, creative arts spaces, kitchens for our hospitality students and trade workshops,” she said.

Mr Rowell said the design had been lead by teachers, parents and students.

“The build will house up to 1500 students but it will have a concrete footprint to accommodate 2000 students,” he said.

“The learning spaces will be built in a way that can be upgraded easily by putting up walls in the open space areas.

“The school will also be designed to have the latest technology.”

Mr Rowell said the Department of Education would continue to consult with the school community throughout the redevelopment.