Upgrades to Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School
About the project
We are upgrading Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School with new and improved education facilities to support the student community.
More than 150 new and refurbished teaching spaces from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Increased quality active play space currently allocated to both schools.
Specialist teaching facilities such as maths, science and art rooms.
Dedicated performing arts spaces and music rooms at the high school.
New sports facilities and recreational areas.
New libraries and administration facilities.
School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) is working with our construction contractor and industry partners to progress the upgrade to Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School in line with current NSW Government Health Orders.
A reduced team has been onsite at each school since 2 August 2021 working under strict COVID-19 Guidelines.
Additional classroom space will be needed at Chatswood High School from early 2022 to enable the next phase of construction and accommodate a projected increase in student enrolment numbers.
Temporary classrooms will be installed on the basketball court and around the new Building R.
A new temporary sports court will be constructed to the north of Building R, and handball, table tennis, and badminton areas will be allocated across the school.
Work to install the temporary classrooms and construct the extra play space is anticipated to start in Term 4 2021, subject to NSW Government Health Orders.
Video: A flythrough video of Chatswood Public School and High School upgrades
SINSW required development approval to proceed with the upgrades to Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School. The formal process of gaining approval is called the statutory planning approval process.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is responsible for managing this process and reviewed the application with consideration of both local and state specific issues. This is because this project is a State Significant Development (SSD).
Yes. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) approved the State Significant Development application for the upgrades to Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School in November 2020.
Can the design be amended following approval of the SSD application?
Yes. Modifications can be made following approval of the State Significant Development application. Amendments and modifications may lead to an extended project completion date.
What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?
The State Significant Development (SSD) application for this project sought approval for the concept design along with the location, scale and envelope of each building. The application was accompanied by several supporting documents including an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Secretary of the Department of Planning, Industry and Envrionment’s (DPIE)Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs).
The EIS provided a comprehensive description of the project's environmental, social and economic impacts and mitigation measures. It also included detailed information on the project scope and design plans.
How long was the public exhibition period?
The State Significant Development application was placed on public exhibition for 28 days. There was an opportunity for the public to comment during this time.
Why was Building R lodged separately as a complying development?
Building R is being built separately to the main works as a complying development. Building R is central to the staged delivery of the project and will accommodate students during construction of the main State Significant Development works.
The complying development certificate required for works to start on Building R at Chatswood High School was issued by a private certifier and excavation and early works started in late 2020.
Complying development applications are determined by council or an independent certifier and must meet a set of prescribed approval conditions.
Chatswood High School
What space is available for performing arts in the design of the new High School?
A key theme from the community consultation was the requirement for adequate performing arts facilities.
Chatswood High School will be provided with a new free-standing hall and fixed stage.
Will the High School hall and annex be retained?
The High School annex will be retained to provide teaching and learning support during construction. The current proposed design shows the High School hall being retained upon completion of the upgrade.
What is the size of the High School stage?
The size of the new High School stage will be 100m2. In addition, the existing hall and stage will remain in place.
How was the decision made to place more temporary classrooms on site during construction?
The department reviewed options to accommodate Chatswood High School students in 2022.
Key factors considered throughout the process were:
· maintaining student wellbeing and safety
· providing continuity of teaching and learning
· maximising the amount of active play space available to students
· providing specialist learning facilities
· minimising the duration and impacts of construction.
The provision of additional temporary classrooms and dedicated play spaces at Chatswood High School enables the department to meet these key factors, accommodate enrolment growth and enable the next stage of construction.
Chatswood Public School
What Chatswood Public School year groups are located on the Bush Campus during construction?
From early 2021, Years K-2 and the Multi-Categorical Support Unit have been located on the Bush Campus and Years 3-6 located on the Pacific Highway Campus.
Class locations have been determined by the principal and executive team with consideration given to the size of each year group, the required classroom sizes, and ease of access to safe play space.
How long will the Bush Campus remain in place?
The Bush Campus will be utilised while the Chatswood Public School upgrade is underway and will continue to operate following project completion for as long as required.
How are you addressing capacity at Chatswood Public School?
Chatswood continues to experience significant residential growth placing increased enrolment pressure on both schools, and in particular Chatswood Public School.
The Chatswood Public School upgrade will deliver 53 new and refurbished learning spaces, 4 special program spaces, 3 special support spaces, a new hall and more than double the amount of play space. The upgrade will allow current enrolment numbers to be accommodated on the Pacific Highway Campus.
The Bush Campus at Chatswood High School will be retained for use by the Public School for as long as required.
A new school intake area for Lindfield Learning Village has recently been determined by the NSW Department of Education. Adjusting the intake area boundary between Chatswood Public School and Lindfield Learning Village will help balance future enrolments in the demographic area by restricting non-local enrolments.
The department is also pleased to confirm that separate to this upgrade project, planning is underway for a new primary school in the Chatswood area.
Where are the outdoor play areas?
Outdoor play areas have temporarily changed.
On the Pacific Highway campus, students have access to covered outdoor learning areas (COLAs) and play equipment. On the Bush Campus, students have access to the oval, decking and orchard areas.
The Chatswood Public School Principal will continue to review and optimise the existing outdoor space to support student wellbeing.
What play space will be available for Public School students once construction is complete?
Public School students will benefit from access to quality play space, to contribute to their learning and overall health and well-being.
Play space will include but not be limited to a purpose-built Covered Outdoor Learning Area (COLA), multi-use indoor and outdoor sports courts, and rooftop play area.
Play space will be improved, with the project team aiming to at least double the space students currently have access to.
What works are proposed to the heritage buildings at Chatswood Public School?
A new, larger library will be built in Building P2 and the administrative spaces expanded and improved in Building A. There are no major works proposed for Building B.
Will there be lifts in buildings P1 and P2?
A new, larger library will be built in Building P2 and the administrative spaces expanded and improved in Building A. There are no major works proposed for Building B.
What is the emergency evacuation plan for Buildings P1 and P2?
Yes. Multi-storey buildings P1 and P2 will be fitted with lifts to safely and efficiently transition students between floors.
Has the Department considered purchasing 688-692 Pacific Highway?
The school executive and project team will design an emergency evacuation plan in accordance with the Department of Education’s standards and guidelines.
Why is the Public School Hall only one storey high?
In 2018, the Department conducted a detailed feasibility assessment of the 688-692 Pacific Highway site for Public School use.
The site did not achieve a value for money outcome for the state investment and was deemed unsuitable.
The Department will continue to work within the existing land ownership boundaries to deliver the best educational outcome for students and staff.
What is the size of the Public School stage?
The Public School stage will be approximately 50m2.
If the Public School multipurpose hall is to be used for both indoor sports and performing arts, how will this accommodate student and staff demand?
The use of the multipurpose hall will be directed by the Public School executive team and staff to ensure both sports and performing arts activities are accommodated.
Where is the Out-of-School-Hours-Care (OSHC) located?
OSHC for before and after school care will continue operations during construction.
On the Pacific Highway campus, OSHC has an allocated room.
For Bush Campus students, the OSHC provider collects students and escorts them to the Pacific Highway campus for after school care.
Alternative after school care providers will be allowed onsite to collect students at both the Bush Campus and Pacific Highway campus.
How can Public School students and the community access the Bush Campus and high school oval during construction?
Public School students can access the Bush Campus via the Centennial Avenue stairs, Freeman Road and Eddy Road.
Public access to the oval is from Eddy Road and from the Centennial Avenue stairs entrance.
While Building R works are underway, Oliver Road will be used for construction access.
Where can we access the construction compliance reports?
Who was awarded the main works construction contract?
The main works construction contract was awarded to Richard Crookes Constructions in June 2021.
Richard Crookes Constructions was also awarded the contract to complete the design of the new facilities and construct the new Building R at Chatswood High School.
What are the construction hours?
The NSW Government has recently passed legislation to allow construction hours to be extended outside of those specified in the development consent conditions in the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development-Construction Work Days) Order (No 3) 2021 to protect the health, safety and welfare of construction workers and our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The construction hours are 7 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, 7 am to 5 pm Saturday and 9 am to 5 pm Sundays and public holidays.
A comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan is in place for the sites and the contractor will enforce strict compliance with the Public Health Order. Our construction sites will follow all current health guidelines, including a one person per 4sqm rule and all workers wearing masks for indoor and outdoor work.
How will you ensure public safety during construction?
The Department of Education is committed to ensuring that work is completed safely and efficiently and with minimal impact to the local community.
Rigorous safety and security measures will be in place for the duration of the works. This will include a COVID-safety plan, fencing off the construction area and installing surveillance systems. There will be no access to the construction area by staff or students.
The health, safety and well-being of students, staff and neighbours is our highest priority.
How will the construction impact traffic and parking?
A Construction Traffic and Pedestrian Management Plan has been prepared to outline measures to be taken to ensure public safety.
The plan includes construction vehicle movements, potential amendments to existing street signage, and traffic control procedures.
Disruption to the local community will be minimised by a number of mitigation strategies, including:
· Construction workers will be encouraged to use the Chatswood Interchange to access the site.
· Movement of materials will take place where possible within the site boundary.
· Trucks will enter and exit the site in a forward motion. At the public school, a turntable will be built within the construction site for trucks to turn around.
· Traffic controllers will be in place where required.
Once construction is complete, how will the increase in student population impact peak traffic times?
A survey of parents and students identified that close to 70% of Chatswood Public School students walk or catch public transport to and from school, with more than 80% of Chatswood High School students walking or using public transport.
This reflects the accessibility of the Chatswood Interchange and the encouragement of sustainable modes of travel.
Traffic assessments anticipate that the increase in student population will not have a noticeable impact on surrounding streets.
What will you do to minimise noise and dust during construction?
The project team consult regularly with the school principals to discuss upcoming works and noise will be kept to a minimum as best as possible during the construction period.
Noise levels on site will be managed in accordance with the noise control guidelines that are outlined in the EPA Environmental Noise Control Manual for construction and demolition works.
Dust as a result of demolition and construction works will be hosed down as required.
Will the removal of asbestos be required?
Yes. The health, safety and well-being of students, staff, contractors and our neighbours is our highest priority.
The removal of asbestos is managed in accordance with the Department of Education’s Asbestos Management Plan and Safe Work NSW by licensed and accredited asbestos removalists and occupational hygienists. It will be managed in strict accordance with all applicable legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines.
How are the construction zones and school grounds separated?
The construction sites have separate entrances for workers and vehicles and hoarding has been installed around work zones to prevent public access to each site.
All contractors and sub-contractors are required to have the appropriate declaration checks in place and be inducted on to site prior to starting.
Will you be removing trees during construction?
The upgrade has been designed and landscaped in keeping with the natural environment and topography of each school.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) approved the State Significant Development application in November 2020. The approval included the removal of trees at both schools to allow for the construction of the new buildings.
Replacement planting will be carried out as the project progresses, in accordance with the relevant policy and in consultation with Willoughby Council.
The biodiversity zone at Chatswood High School will continue to remain untouched.
How are you protecting the Powerful Owls at Chatswood High School?
SINSW is aware of a hollow bearing tree, an angophora costata, within the Chatswood High School Building S work zone that is often inhabited by Powerful Owls during their breeding season.
The project team met with local wildlife group, Birdlife Australia, and representatives from Willoughby Council and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to develop a strategy to protect the safety and wellbeing of the owls.
As a result, temporary fencing was set up around the angophora costata tree to create a tree protection zone and ropes were installed to two adjacent trees to assist the owlets to fledge. We are happy to report that the owlets left the nest successfully in August 2021.
We can also advise that site investigations have confirmed that the angophora costata tree within the construction site is capable of being retained, with propping, to support future breeding seasons.
Will any heritage buildings be removed?
No. A Heritage Impact Statement (HIS) and assessment was undertaken as part of the State Significant Development (SSD) application, and heritage buildings will be carefully and respectfully maintained across both school sites.
We are committed to working together with our school communities to deliver the best possible learning facilities for students.
Opportunities for school communities to get involved in the project will be shared on this page.
Get in contact
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