City Beach High School site yet to be identified by State Government despite clear favourite

Churchlands MLA Sean L'Estrange, Education Minister Peter Collier and Town of Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers at the announcement this morning.
Churchlands MLA Sean L'Estrange, Education Minister Peter Collier and Town of Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers at the announcement this morning.

DESPITE today announcing the new City Beach High School will open in 2019, the State Government is yet to choose between four shortlisted sites.

On Tuesday, the Western Suburbs Weekly broke the news that the government was considering to build the secondary school at the abandoned Skyline drive-in cinema site behind Town of Cambridge buildings.

This morning, Education Minister Peter Collier said the old Skyline site was the “most practical option”.

The Education Department has begun negotiations to secure the required land for a 2000-capacity Year 7-12 school at either Skyline, vacant land at Fred Burton Park, the corner of The Boulevard and West Coast Highway or Rochdale and Wollaston roads.

Although he said the new school was needed “urgently” in June, Mr Collier said the State Government decided to shortlist four sites to consult council and community on the ideal location.

“We will build a world-class secondary school,” he said.

Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers said he welcomed the news, however a number of shortlisted sites had serious environmental issues.

Mr Withers said he hoped the new school would mean improvements to City Beach bus services and roads.

Mr Collier said State Cabinet had signed off on a strategy to “ease the squeeze” on Perth’s biggest secondary schools.

When asked whether needing to build a new high school could have been avoided if the government had not closed Swanbourne and Hollywood high schools 15 years ago, the Minister said “potentially, yes”.

“We have become a victim of our own success,” he said.

“Shenton College, Churchlands Senior High School and Mount Lawley Senior High School have experienced massive enrolment growth, and our public schools have increased their market share for the past five years.”

Funding of $38.8 million has been allocated to expand Churchlands Senior High School by 2018.