School plan marked down

Andrew Brownell and residents of McDowell loop. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d411280
Andrew Brownell and residents of McDowell loop. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d411280

The school plans to use the loop as an entry and exit point from the school.

Swan Christian Education Association chief executive Stephen Lee said the school commissioned a traffic engineer, who unequivocally stated that McDowell Loop was the best entry and exit point, and that Roland Road would be ‘unsafe’.

‘We spent $300,000 to $400,000 to increase internal roads and parking to address any concerns about parking on McDowell Loop,’ Mr Lee said.

‘There won’t be any parking on McDowell Loop.’

But Tracy Brownell, who lives closest to the proposed site and is a parent of a student at the college, would like to see Roland Road used as an entry and Beacon Road used as an exit point.

‘With Beacon Road due to be sealed in 2014, and a Roland Road bypass and Brooking Road overpass created when the North Parkerville townsite is started, this could be a good option with further study,’ Mrs Brownell said.

‘We are just trying to come up with alternatives that allow the school to use this site without having a massive impact on our little street.’

Mrs Brownell also questioned the figures released by the school on how many students would attend the new high school.

‘The school will be similar in size to Eastern Hills Senior High School, with 750 students, and larger than Helena Senior College, which has 500 students,’ she said.

Mr Lee agreed the number of students could reach 720, but said it would take between five and 10 years to get to that number.

Stoneville and Parkerville Progress Association chairman Greg Jones said McDowell Loop was never designed to cater for the enormous impact of a new school.

‘Once the school reaches its designed level, the full impact on the local roads and the local community will be very dangerous, with up to an additional 4620 school vehicle movements a week, all using McDowell Loop and in both directions,’ Mr Jones said.

‘Most local residents are not against a new high school but oppose the current plans made without any community engagement whatsoever, or without proper impact assessments.’