Ipswich school must expand to keep up with growth
THE Department of Education is planning to expand an Ipswich high school by constructing new buildings and sport facilities to keep up with the expected growth in the catchment.
Bellbird Park State Secondary College opened in 2017 with 220 Year 7 students and it has grown by a year level every year since.
Its first senior cohort will graduate next year.
The Department of Education has made an infrastructure proposal to Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles for new facilities at the Ipswich school.
Immediate works would include a three-storey learning centre with 12 classroom spaces, a single-storey building for food studies, a single-storey ‘industrial centre’, meeting rooms and four multipurpose courts.
The department is hoping to amend the existing infrastructure designation for the site.
“(This is) to facilitate the current proposed scope of works at Bellbird Park SSC and to provide for future flexibility in development and use of the site through provision of a new Plan of Designation,” a report notes.
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“The proposed development will provide the school population with improved facilities that meets current learning needs and standards.
“The proposed developments will also provide the school with the necessary infrastructure to accommodate additional in catchment student growth in line with existing and future demands.”
This first stage of works will be funded through the department’s capital works program.
A second stage of proposed works, which would be subject to future demands, detailed planning and funding, would include two two-storey general learning centres to provide 14 classroom spaces and an extension to the existing hall.
“The Bellbird Park SSC has a current enrolment of 1,182 students (at February 2020) and an approved student enrolment capacity under the previous infrastructure designation to accommodate 1,800 students,” the report notes.
“There is an existing full-time equivalent (FTE) of 118 staff to support the student population.
“The proposal is also anticipated to result in an estimated increase in 36 FTE staff based on the ultimate development, with an additional 22 FTE staff as part of the stage 1 development and 14 FTE staff as part of the future stage 2 development.”
The first stage of works would raise the student enrolment capacity to 1975.
The school’s catchment area covers the city’s eastern suburbs of Bellbird Park, Redbank, Goodna and Gailes.
No new parking spaces are proposed as part of the expansion.
“The site has several parking areas and provides approximately 247 on-site car park spaces and 13 set-down/pick-up bays,” the report notes.
“This level of parking supply across the site satisfies (Ipswich City Council’s) and the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ prescribed car parking rates for all stages of development.”
The school advised the department that about 10 per cent of students rode bikes or scooters to and from school.
“There is currently one large storage cage (with capacity for approximately 42 spaces) for students to park their bicycle or scooter within the school’s grounds, and this is currently underutilised,” the report notes.
“The proposal will provide for an increase (to) cycle parking to cater for the additional demand generated by the project across all stages.
“The number of spaces proposed is nine additional bike spaces for stage one and eight additional bike spaces for stage two.
“The school will continue to monitor the supply of cycle parking to ensure demand is met.”
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