From the Head Master: Renewal Project Commences

From the Head Master: Renewal Project Commences

It is with a considerable sense of excitement that I am able to announce that we will be commencing the first stages of our long-awaited development of the Summer Hill campus in the coming weeks. The School has been planning for The Renewal Project since 2019, and hundreds of hours of work have been going on in the background, so we are delighted that we will shortly see action taking place.

Between now and the middle of the year, there are three distinct areas in which construction will happen. These three areas can be seen on this map of the School.

Seaview Street

The first area to be affected is on Seaview St, where construction hoarding will be set up around the four residences to the west of the Junior School. These houses will be demolished, to be replaced with a new maintenance and deliveries building, as well as a new playspace for the Junior School students. The work in this area is expected to commence next week and continue through the remainder of the year. However, we expect there to be minimal impact on the life of the School.

Replacement of the synthetic turf on Oval #2

The second element of the Project will be the replacement of the synthetic turf on Oval #2. The intensity of usage of this surface has brought it to the end of its life. The work of replacement is expected to take only four or five weeks, so it will be scheduled to start in the final week of this term and to be completed early in Term 2. Whilst the loss of the oval for this time will be inconvenient, it will be brief.

Excavation of Oval #3

The third element of the Project that will be seen this semester is the excavation of Oval #3 in order to build a new carpark underneath the playing surface. Whilst the new carpark will add to our overall capacity, its main benefit will be to increase the length of queuing and kiss and drop zones. This will help us to have more efficient traffic management systems at peak times and to reduce the impact of our traffic on the local area. The work on Oval #3 is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2023 school year.

These initial aspects of The Renewal Project have been programmed to happen first as they will enable the subsequent development. We will be able to shift our maintenance, deliveries and grounds operations from the centre of the School to the edges of the School, and we will significantly improve the traffic management on the western side of the School. After this year, there will be minimal impact of The Renewal Project on Victoria St.

Alteration to final day of the school year

The School has also taken the decision to commence the summer break a few days earlier this year. The final day of the school year will be Friday 2 December, which will be the day on which we hold a Speech Day at Sydney Town Hall for each of the Preparatory School, Junior School and the Middle/Senior School. We anticipate that these will be wonderful opportunities to gather the School community for an end of year celebration. A slightly earlier finish will also allow a longer window for our builders to undertake the extensive work scheduled to happen while School is not in session.

This is an exciting time for the School. Information about The Renewal Project can be found on our website here and there will be regular updates regarding the progress of the work.

COVID and change to isolation requirements

Finally, with reference to COVID, the School continues to be notified of confirmed cases amongst students and staff, but it appears that the significant increase of cases that we experiences last week has peaked and is now subsiding. As of yesterday, fifty-eight students were isolating as confirmed cases, and a further seventy-one were isolating as household contacts. These students are spread throughout both the Summer Hill and Strathfield campuses, but the FSC in Woollamia continues to be COVID-free at this point.

There has been a slight change to the isolation requirements. A person who has had COVID-19 within the last eight weeks and who is now a household contact does not need to self-isolate again. In addition, a person who has already been a household contact and completed their required isolation within the last fourteen days does not need to self-isolate again if another household member contracts COVID-19. Check the NSW Health website for up-to-date information regarding isolation.

We continue to appreciate the consistent good sense of the community in not sending the boys to school when they are symptomatic.

Detur gloria soli deo

Tim Bowden | Head Master

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