Coffs Harbour Christian Community School reveals $19.9m campus expansion

This vacant block adjacent to Coffs Harbour Christian Community College is proposed to accommodate the school’s new $19.9m Junior educational establishment. Photo: supplied.

 

COFFS Harbour Christian Community School has lodged a development application to develop a new $19.9m Junior educational establishment comprising a Junior School, Middle School and a Special Education School.

The new education complex is being proposed by the school to relieve current overcrowding issues at the school, which has a significant waiting list for future students.

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The current student population at the school consists of approximately 540 students, and the proposed new schools will be capable of accommodating up to 480 students and will contain 37 new classrooms.

The school currently has a Junior School Campus, Middle and Senior Campus, and a Sherwood Cliffs Campus.

A total of 270 students are proposed to transfer from the existing school campus to the new development to ease overcrowding at the existing campus and allow floorspace to be repurposed for additional curriculum needs, and the growth in student numbers with the new schools added will be 210 students.

Additional growth of the student population to the existing school campus is not proposed or planned.

The new educational complex is proposed to be built adjacent to the existing school campus at Bonville Station Road at Bonville, and is planned to be constructed over six stages over future years as funding permits.

Stage One will encompass the Middle School/Canteen/COLA which is expected to accommodate 180 new students and six new staff, Stage Two will comprise the new Library, Stage Three includes the Admin and Staffrooms and Junior School (180 existing students), Stage Four includes the Middle School (90 existing students), Stage Five includes the Special Education School with 30 new students and three new staff, and Stage Six comprises the completion of the Junior School and Middle School with 270 new students and nine new teachers.

The proposed education campus will generate employment opportunities during construction, estimated at over 80 construction jobs spread across all stages of development.

There will also be new jobs for school staff including 21 teachers plus other staff, and the employment of migrants learning new skills (Myanmar refugees are currently employed at the school and are developing skills as stonemasons).

The land has been the subject of a previously approved development application which has seen earthworks undertaken on the site to prepare for the development of the proposed educational facilities.

This permits the new development to be as barrier free to movement as reasonable, and to allow connection to the existing school in a way that does not hinder movement.

The Junior School is proposed to contain 16 classrooms, the Senior School will contain 18 classrooms, and the Special Education School will contain three classrooms.

Classrooms are proposed to be located in single storey buildings with verandahs for shade and weather
protection.

Other facilities will include administration offices, a library, COLA, storerooms, sports store, canteen, basketball court, mini soccer field, and a skate/scooter/bike park.

The 7-metre tall Library will be a focal point of the new educational complex and is proposed to be “the seat of learning for the School”.

“It is a significant volume allowing for flexibility and adaption to the changing role of Libraries in the time of the internet revolution,” the development application states.

The Library will also be capable of functioning as the school’s assembly hall and will incorporate a wide covered COLA space for outdoor education, recreation and sun safe activities.

The Special Education building is proposed to fulfill a specialised and under-serviced role within the broader community and the education system.

“Such students need higher care levels and a greater attention from staff and carers,” the development application states.

The Special Education building is proposed as a standalone building, and is focused on students with physical or mental disabilities.

Coffs Harbour Christian Community School was established around 1991 and currently accommodates Senior and Middle Schools with an intake of students from the areas of Taylors Arm in the south, to the Dorrigo plateau in the west and Red Rock in the north.

The development application for the new educational establishment was lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council on Thursday 23 September and can be viewed on Council’s website at
https://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Building-and-planning/DA-tracker under 0326/22DA.

 

By Emma DARBIN

 

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