Gledswood Hills Public School now on public exhibition

Sleek design: Camden MP Chris Patterson praised the environmentally-friendly, 'world's best practice' design of the future school. Picture: Artist's impression
Sleek design: Camden MP Chris Patterson praised the environmentally-friendly, 'world's best practice' design of the future school. Picture: Artist's impression

Camden Council wants to ensure a new school in Gledswood Hills doesn't suffer the same overcrowding issues faced in nearby Oran Park.

The Department of Education plans to build Gledswood Hills Public School in two stages – catering firstly for 600 students and growing to 1000 in stage two.

But councillor Theresa Fedeli said that wasn’t good enough.

“It should be built straight to 1000 students rather than 600 in stage one and the rest in stage two,” she said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“With all of the growth happening in the area and the number of young families moving into Oran Park, Gledswood Hills and Spring Farm, we need to be looking forward.

“We need to get it right now before we have an influx of young kids.”

All councillors agreed to include Cr Fedeli’s suggestion in the council’s submission about the school’s development application to the Department of Planning – which is the consent authority.

Construction of nearby Oran Park Public School is taking place in two stages with the first stage already completed.

However the school is operating at 150 per cent capacity with stage two not yet complete.

The kindergarten cohort alone has 11 classes, equating to about 200 new school starters. 

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said the new Gledswood Hills Public School was a pleasing investment for the Camden region.

“I hope [the Department of Planning] pays attention to council’s suggestion,” she said.

“The suggestions to alleviate issues already raised in the submission like a raised zebra crossing and a drop-off bay are very detailed.”

Cr Cindy Cagney said Cr Fedeli’s suggestion was a positive addition to the thorough submission.

“I thought that was the only thing missing – the submission is very extensive,” she said.

“If we build it they will come and it would be more cost effective to build the whole school in the one go any way.”

Gledswood Hills Public School is expected to open by 2020.

Camden MP Chris Patterson told the Advertiser last year he was pleased with the progress, despite original projections suggesting the school would be open by 2019 or earlier.

“That’s not a worry at all,” he said of the delay.

“With the primary school in Oran Park expanding capacity that will cater for new students in the growing area until 2020.”

The school is anticipated to accommodate up to 600 students at first, with a plan to expand to a capacity of 1000 students.

The school will also cater for 65 staff.

It will be made up of three new two-storey buildings which will include 41 classrooms, a library, a hall, out-of-school hours care facilities, special programs rooms and more.

The school will also have a hard surface sports court.

A bus bay and 75 car parking spaces will also be built at the site.