REHOBOTH Christian College believes planned upgrades to accommodate the school’s growth have been long overdue.
The City of Gosnells has approved construction of a 2819sq m, two-storey classroom and administration block and a 52-bay car-park.
As of 2017, there were 494 students and 58 teachers who attended the school, however it is projected those numbers will rise to 634 students and 72 teachers by 2023.
The school’s chief executive Mark Steyn said the school desperately needed to expand to keep up with their growing numbers.
“In this area specifically, we’ve seen a huge demand and part of that is the gentrification of the area, part of that is a number of immigrant families who have moved into the area,” he said.
“I don’t think many of the schools are coping with growth in this area because it’s unprecedented.”
Projects officer Seth Merlo said the upgrades would help connect the two primary school areas, which currently were split.
“It will provide us with 12 new learning spaces, which will allow us to double stream and bring our primary school together,” he said.
During the consultation period, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) suggested the proposal be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy (DEE), due to concerns the proposal may significantly impact environmental values to the nearby Brixton Street wetlands.
However, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, on behalf of EPA, and the DEE raised no objections to the proposal.
Mr Steyn said the school wanted to use the wetlands as an educational resource and did not intend to harm it.
“We’re pumping significant amounts of money into the rehabilitation of the current wetlands and maintenance of the current wetlands,” he said.
“From a board perspective, they’re very keen for us to use it as a wonderful resource for the school, so in terms of study programs we’re including environmental science and utilising it for students to study.
“We have arrangements with the EPA as to how they control that and make sure it’s done in a responsible way. It can be a really positive thing.”