Schoolyard scorcher

HIGHGATE primary school kids, staff and parents are campaigning for a better playspace to replace a sun-scorched square that’s “boring, crowded and heavy on the bitumen”.

School board chair Tanya Sim says the school has capacity issues from its growing inner-city population, and it needs to better utilise the small space they have.

Numbers are exploding, from 600 this year to 800 next year, with more families moving into new developments.

“There’s a lot of presure on all primary schools, but particularly an inner-city school with apartments going up there’s a real need for outdoor spaces for children to play in,” Ms Sim says. “Because we are landlocked and cramped we really need to make the most of the space.”

• Dust, sun and cement: Highgate primary school kids need a better playspace.

• Dust, sun and cement: Highgate primary school kids need a better playspace.

Desperate for more space the school community’s turned to the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, which is running the My Park Rules competition. Finalists in each state get a landscape architect to reimagine their space, and the national winner gets it built.

The kids weighed in on what they wanted for the park, and ideas include

• ”tunnels, bridges, caves, forts”;

• ”lots of trees, a tree house, a flying fox!”;

• ”somewhere to hide, soemwhere to climb”;

• ”skate park, parkour, trampolines!”;

• ”something modern, but not sci fi modern.”;

• ”nature play, water, an art area”;

• ”somewhere we can all connect.”

Ms Sim says with so little space, long-term expert planning is vital.

Locals are encouraged to hop online and vote: “We just need people to go to myparkrules.com.au and search for Highgate primary.”

by DAVID BELL

LULC 2015 Voice Front Cover

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