Wagga’s newest public school will be nestled between Estella and Charles Sturt University.
The announcement on Friday morning made by Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire finally confirmed the location for Wagga’s long-anticipated new public school.
Mr Maguire made the announcement from a site off Darnell Smith Drive, on the Charles Sturt University campus, and next to Peter Hastie Oval.
Construction will begin on the new school in Estella, on the southern end of the CSU campus, in 2019.
The initial capacity for the school will be around 320 students with room for expansion, and it will provide for up to 560 students and is planned to be open for the 2021 school year, Mr Maguire said.
“The project is for the provision of a new primary school with the potential for connectivity to CSU, links to adjoining sporting facilities and use as a community hub,” he said.
“The new school will incorporate state-of-the-art flexible teaching and learning spaces and other core facilities which will cater for the anticipated growth of increased residential development in the area for the next two decades.”
There are no plans to close North Wagga Public School, Mr Maguire said.
The school’s location is a boost to the Wagga City Council’s plans for the northern suburbs, which is one of the fastest-growing regions of NSW, Wagga mayor Greg Conkey said.
“A new primary school near the CSU campus will cater for many families who are calling these neighbourhoods home,” Cr Conkey said.
“The school’s location builds on Wagga City Council’s strategic planning to develop the north and our work with CSU to create a northern sporting and recreation precinct adjacent to the university’s Peter Hastie Oval.”
Wagga Mayor Greg Conkey said Estella and Boorooma, the suburbs north of the Murrumbidgee River, were already home to 5000 people, with plans already in place for an addition 4000 to be added.
“So in the not-to-distant future there will be up to 9000 people, and then future development will take it up to about 15,000 people over the next 10 to 15 years,” Councillor Conkey said.
“So it really is a booming area and this is a great news story that a new school has been planned for this site.
“It’s a great site, next to CSU, next to the Peter Hastie Oval.
“We’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with CSU to share facilities out here to assist in maintaining and upgrading those facilities for the whole community, but especially Estella and the northern part of the city.
“It’s a $38 million project and part of that is a community centre which Wagga City Council will be funding, so that will be well-used by the residents of Estella.
“A new primary school will near the CSU campus will cater for many families who are calling these neighbourhoods home.”
Estella residents have long been demanding a new school north of the Murrumbidgee River.
Estella Progress Association president Graham Cotter has previously said Estella was the only logical location for the new school.
“The northern suburbs – Estella, Gobbagombalin, Boorooma – are the fastest growing areas in Wagga, and that growth is predominately coming from young families who will need to enroll their children in schools,” Mr Cotter said.
“The two schools that currently service those suburbs are North Wagga Public and Wagga Public, and they are both either over capacity or close to capacity.
“Therefore, it only makes logical sense for any new school to go to that area.”
Wagga got its first sign that the announcement of a new public school was imminent after Tuesday’s budget.
The budget papers included a line about a new school primary school for Wagga at “Charles Sturt University”, but provided no further details about cost or a timeframe.
The announcement of the new school comes just weeks after news that work has finally begun on building the long-awaited Estella shopping centre.
Preliminary earthworks have begun on the project, which would see a supermarket, pharmacy, a bottle shop, a butchery, a hairdresser and cafe built on the site.