Making a play for space

PARENTS and neighbours are fighting an education department plan to gobble up a third of Inglewood primary school’s oval with six new classrooms.

The parents say the $3.5 million building shouldn’t come at the cost of play space and want the plans rethought.

The 400 students at Inglewood already have an oval roster because of crowding and the parents say that with research showing the importance of active play, the department should be building up somewhere else on the grounds instead.

“We’re not against building extra classrooms … we’re saying it could be built without taking the grass area,” former parent and neighbour Tony Didio said.

“If they could build the extra classrooms around the existing courtyard it wouldn’t be a problem, but they’ve chose the easy way out…It’s just short-term vision stuff, and ugly!”

Bayswater councillor Catherine Ehrhardt says it’s a “bandaid fix” because the government should be investing in new schools to take the pressure off others feeling the suburban squeeze.

• Parents and neighbours protest a new building being dumped on the Inglewood primary school oval where children play.

• Parents and neighbours protest a new building being dumped on the Inglewood primary school oval where children play.

Hypocrisy

“It smacks of total hypocrisy when we are being told to accept infill and multi storey at any turn to stop sprawl, and then they encourage sprawl and removal of open space from our children!” Ms Ehrhardt wrote on Facebook group ‘Save Inglewood Primary School’.

The parents saying increasing the number of students at Inglewood will exacerbate traffic issues and put kids at risk.

“Parking around the school is a nightmare and not everyone lives walking distance so they are forced to park illegally or be horrendously late”, Kym Coolhaas wrote.

With the current plans showing a modern flourish worked into the classic red-brick schoolroom design, there have been some concerns about it fitting in with the area’s character, but the department of education has said the designs were already altered in response to a submission from Stirling council.

The parents’ group has the support of Maylands MLA Lisa Baker, and as of Wednesday, 146 people have signed a petition which can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/minister-peter-collier-save-our-green-space-inglewood-primary-school

by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM

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