Sites and sessions in schools debate

Cr Sonia Grinceri suggested the change instead of going through with the Education Department’s plan to build a new secondary school in City Beach.

At a special council meeting last Thursday, councillors voted to defer authorising $45,000 for community consultation on the remaining two sites being considered for the new school.

“Why not have two-session schools?” Cr Grinceri said.

“I’d like to see that as a third option.

“It is the norm in many European countries.”

The Department recently narrowed down the original four sites to two – the former City Beach High School site and Fred Burton Park.

According to a council report, the Department has engaged architects to draw up preliminary design concepts for the two site options, which will be available for community consultation.

It has also engaged traffic engineers and environmental consultants to advise of issues affecting either site.

Cr Jane Powell said the Education Department had not made a strong enough case to put a school in City Beach.

“I would like to ask them to come back and have another crack at it,” Cr Powell said.

“I’m unconvinced we should even choose either site.”

Mayor Keri Shannon said the Department should consider using less land by building a multiple-storey school.

“I don’t know why they need such a large site when they could build multiple storeys,” Ms Shannon said.

Cr Andres Timmermanis said he extremely excited for the prospect of a new, high quality public secondary school in the area.

“It will be a significant asset for our town,” Cr Timmermanis said.

“I very gladly send my own children to Shenton for that reason.

“We are not doing the Department of Education’s consultation – we are doing our own.”