The three rundown homes on Jenkins Street have long been a thorn in the side of the Beaconsfield Primary School community, which has spent over a decade fighting to get them demolished because they were a danger to the schoolchildren.
Local community member Nikki Bowyer said more than 10 years’ worth of P&C and school council members were thrilled when the demolition began last week. She was hoping the land could now be used by the school.
‘The Education Department started to demolish the homes years ago then stopped because of asbestos contamination,’ she said.
‘The homes connect the bottom oval on Hampton Road to the main school and currently parents have to sign excursion slips for their children to play on the bottom oval at lunch as they have to in effect leave the school grounds to get there.’
Ms Bowyer said the school community wanted the leftover land to be used as a connected play area that would encompass a kitchen garden and two sea containers that could house equipment.
Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk said the result was a great one for the school and the local community and should provide positive reinforcement for community groups fighting their own battles.
‘The school community should be feeling pretty pleased with themselves and they really deserve a pat on the back,’ she said.
‘For years to come students at this school will benefit from an extra play area and clear access to the bottom oval.
‘People should be buoyed by this story because Nikki Bowyer and other parents at this school showed that bureaucratic blocks can be beaten ” you just need passion and perseverance.’