Emmanuel Christian Community School plans to expand in Girrawheen

Emmanuel Christian Community School principal Gary Harris with students Denzel Humphries, Marcus Singeorzan, Cornelius Valcan, Deborah Worku, Laynie Gabrielson, Jasmine Huynh and Molly Symons. Pictures: Martin Kennealey d492210
Emmanuel Christian Community School principal Gary Harris with students Denzel Humphries, Marcus Singeorzan, Cornelius Valcan, Deborah Worku, Laynie Gabrielson, Jasmine Huynh and Molly Symons. Pictures: Martin Kennealey d492210

INCREASING student numbers has prompted a Girrawheen school to look at expanding and upgrading its facilities.

Emmanuel Christian Community School plan’s to redevelop its Salcott Road campus and two residential blocks across the road, which are subject to a rezoning application out for public consultation.

Principal Gary Harris, who this year replaced Pedro Cruz when he retired after more than three decades, said the school started in 1982 with 21 primary students.

Mr Harris said this year the school had 605 students from Kindergarten to Year 11, and would expand to Year 12 in 2020.

“We are expecting the demand for a low fee-paying private Christian school education to continue to be strong, especially as we develop our senior secondary program to offer multiple pathways to tertiary education,” he said.

Emmanuel Christian Community School plans to expand facilities across Salcott Road.

To accommodate growing high school numbers, the school recently bought 6 Salcott Road and plans to redevelop that and the adjacent property, which it already owned.

It also plans to demolish ageing facilities that used to house primary students and build a double-storey block with 11 classrooms on the Salcott campus by 2021.

“The impetus for the rezoning is the need to refurbish the old primary school campus and specialise it into a purpose-built secondary campus,” Mr Harris said.

“Our current facilities will be improved to include new specialist areas, with a technology and arts precinct, including digital media lab, food technology and hospitality area, and design and technology facility.

“Our vision is to have our students trained and experienced in service, whether that be through Vocational Education Training (VET) opportunities in service industries such as hospitality, design, media arts, aged care and disability services, or through our popular SES cadet program.

“We aim to offer ATAR pathways to university or a combination of ATAR and VET studies.”

This term Year 4 to 6 classes shifted to the recently completed primary campus on Casserly Avenue, which is almost at its maximum capacity of 490 students, with 460 enrolled this year.

Existing classrooms on Salcott Road will be replaced with a two-storey classroom block.

The senior campus has 170 students and is expected to increase to 250 in 2020 with the addition of Year 12 and two streams of current Year 6 students transitioning to high school.

Wanneroo Council agreed to adopt a District Planning Scheme 2 amendment to rezone the Salcott Road lots from residential to ‘private clubs and recreation’ at its March meeting.

Councillor Hugh Nguyen said rezoning the land would allow the college to expand and said it had been “wonderful fabric of the local community” since it opened.

According to the council report, the WA Planning Commission approved a subdivision application to amalgamate 4 and 6 Salcott Road in January.

The sites on Salcott Road.

The City has invited public comment on the rezoning amendment until May 21 – visit www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au to make a submission.

The applicant also wanted to rezone 15 Hainsworth Avenue, but the City excluded that from the amendment because there was a single house on the lot.

Mr Harris said he hoped to include renewable energy sources in the senior campus redevelopment, such as solar panels.

He said the school planned to launch a soccer academy in 2020 as it was a popular sport among the multicultural student body.

Basketball was also popular, and he said the City of Wanneroo was considering replacing netball courts at the adjacent Hainsworth Reserve with basketball courts.

Mr Harris said the school’s low fee structure provided private school education options for the low socio-economic communities in Girrawheen and surrounding suburbs of Balga, Koondoola and Marangaroo.

Call 9342 7377 or visit www.eccs.wa.edu.au for more information.