Fort Street Public School: A historical transformation unveiled

Release date: 25 January 2024

In a thrilling sneak peek, Fort Street Public School, one of Australia's first public schools, opened its doors to 2 lucky students for an exclusive preview of its multi-million-dollar upgrade, set to reach completion just in time for Term 1, 2024. The iconic Observatory Hill site, steeped in history since its establishment in 1849, has undergone a remarkable transformation that seamlessly blends the old with the new. 

Fort Street Public School Principal, Michele Peel-Yates, expressed her pride in the project, describing the variety of facilities for students and teachers, as well as uniqueness of the learning spaces. The upgrades, she believes, will foster a love for learning that extends beyond school into students' future lives. As Fort Street Public School readies itself to welcome students back, it does so with a renewed spirit and a commitment to shaping the future through its storied past. 

Preserving heritage in design 

The renovation project pays homage to Fort Street Public School's rich history, with 3 refurbished heritage buildings and 2 new double-storey buildings seamlessly integrated. The historic Bureau of Meteorology (MET) Building, which once served as a weather bureau for over 70 years, now stands reimagined as a state-of-the-art school library and special programs area. Further, the Messengers Cottage, a relic from over 160 years ago, used as the Principal’s office, has received a modern, internal refurbishment.

Original features such as timber flooring, fireplaces, century-old antique armoires, and a stained glass memorial window bearing the school crest and motto have been meticulously preserved within the existing school building. The project includes up to 24 new classrooms, a new school hall, covered outdoor learning areas, Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) facilities, and ground and rooftop play spaces offering breathtaking views across Sydney. 

The expansion not only preserves the legacy of Fort Street Public School but also introduces a state-of-the-art learning environment designed to inspire students for years to come. 

Fort Street Public School will re-open at its original Observatory Hill site on the first day of Term 1 2024 boosting capacity from 200 to 550 to cater for growing local enrolments.


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