Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly visited Schofields today as construction of the new primary school on Farmland Drive near Alex Avenue has now started.

Minister Mitchell celebrated the milestone with an official sod turn and said the $54 million school is being built using innovative construction methods.

“We are facing rapid population growth in this part of Sydney, and infrastructure innovation will play a key role in providing future permanent facilities in shorter timeframes, with less disruption to student learning and local residents.

“This school has been constructed in a factory setting and will be assembled in a matter of months. The first components will be delivered to the site by truck in the next few weeks.

“With this construction method, time on site can be reduced by up to 50 per cent,” Ms Mitchell said.

The new school will be ready for the 2021 school year and features 19 permanent classrooms, a school hall, a library, a covered outdoor learning area (COLA) as well as administrative and staff facilities. It will have a capacity for 500 students, and has been master-planned to accommodate up to 1000 students in the future.

Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly said he was very excited that Alex Avenue families will be able to enjoy a high-quality school delivered in record time using these innovative methods.

“The school will be built before the eyes of this community over the span of a few months.

“This is one of many school infrastructure projects in the Riverstone community. Aside from this new school, three upgrades have already been delivered in the last seven months. The major upgrade at Schofields Public School with 27 new teaching spaces will be completed later this year. And there’s more to come,” Mr Conolly said.

The new primary school on Farmland Drive near Alex Avenue was announced in April as part of 48 construction projects in NSW to have its planning assessments fast-tracked and finalised through the Planning System Acceleration Program, aimed at supporting the NSW economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Off-site construction methods, also called Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), is a growing market in Australia as well as overseas for residential infrastructure, schools, hospitals and other public buildings.

Five public schools are part of a DfMA pilot program in NSW, the other four schools being Jordan Springs Public School and the new primary schools in Catherine Field, Leppington and Wagga Wagga.

The NSW Government is investing $6.7 billion over four years to deliver 190 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW. In addition, a record $1.3 billion is being spent on school maintenance over five years, along with a record $500 million for the sustainable Cooler Classrooms program to provide air conditioning to schools. This is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of NSW.

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