COFFS Harbor Christian Community School has applied for development to develop a new $ 19.9 million junior educational facility comprising a junior school, middle school and special education school.
The new educational complex is being offered by the school to alleviate the current overcrowding issues at the school, which has a large waiting list for prospective students.
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The school’s current student body is approximately 540 students, and the proposed new schools will accommodate up to 480 students and contain 37 new classrooms.
The school currently has a junior campus, a middle and senior campus, and a Sherwood Cliffs campus.
It is proposed to transfer a total of 270 students from the existing school campus to the new development to reduce overcrowding on the existing campus and allow reallocation of floor space for additional program needs, and growth in student numbers. with the new schools added will be 210 students.
Further growth of the student population on the existing school campus is neither proposed nor planned.
It is proposed that the new educational complex be built adjacent to the existing school campus at Bonville Station Road in Bonville, and it is planned to be built in six stages over the coming years, if funding permits.
The first stage will encompass the college / canteen / COLA which is expected to accommodate 180 new students and six new staff, the second stage will include the new library, the third stage will include the administration and staff rooms and the junior school (180 existing students), the fourth stage includes the middle school (90 existing students), the fifth stage includes the special education school with 30 new students and three new staff, and the sixth stage includes the completion of the primary and middle school with 270 new students and nine new teachers.
The proposed education campus will generate employment opportunities during construction, estimated at over 80 construction jobs spread across all stages of development.
There will also be new jobs for school staff, including 21 teachers and other staff, and the employment of migrants learning new skills (Myanmar refugees are currently employed in the school and are developing skills in as stonemasons).
The land was the subject of a previously approved development application which saw earthworks undertaken on the site to prepare for the development of the proposed educational facilities.
This allows the new development to be as free of traffic barriers as it is reasonable, and to allow connection to the existing school in a way that does not hamper traffic.
It is proposed that the junior school will contain 16 classrooms, the secondary school will contain 18 classrooms and the special education school will contain three classrooms.
It is proposed that classrooms be located in one-story buildings with verandas for shade and weather
Other facilities will include administrative offices, library, COLA, reserves, sports shop, canteen, basketball court, mini football field and skate / scooter / bike park.
The 7-meter-high library will be the focal point of the new educational complex and it is proposed to be “the seat of learning for the school”.
“This is a large volume allowing flexibility and adaptation to the changing role of libraries in the era of the Internet revolution,” says the development application.
The library will also be able to function as the school’s meeting room and will include a large covered COLA space for outdoor education, recreation, and sun-safe activities.
The special education building is proposed to fulfill a specialized and underserved role within the wider community and the education system.
“These students need higher levels of care and more attention from staff and caregivers,” says Development Demand.
The special education building is offered as a stand-alone building, and is geared towards students with physical or mental disabilities.
The Coffs Harbor Christian Community School was established around 1991 and currently hosts high and middle schools with an enrollment of students from the areas of Taylors Arm to the south, Dorrigo Plateau to the west and Red Rock to the north.
The application to develop the new educational facility was filed with Coffs Harbor City Council on Thursday, September 23, and can be viewed on the council’s website at
https://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Building-and-planning/DA-tracker under 0326 / 22DA.
By Emma DARBIN