Crowding at Cowaramup school a concern

Therese ColmanAugusta Margaret River Times

Cowaramup Primary School will receive a transportable classroom next year to house an increasing number of students but Vasse MLA Libby Mettam says the school needs proper funding for future growth.

Ms Mettam pledged $6 million for the school if the Liberal-National Government was re-elected in March.

The money would have built 11 new classrooms, upgraded offices and extensions to the overcrowded carpark.

Ms Mettam said she was disappointed the school received no funding in the 2017-18 State Budget.

“The new McGowan Government clearly has not taken into account the growth rate of the rapidly expanding community of Cowaramup,” she said.

“The transportable classroom will assist for the coming year with the anticipated new enrolments but it is vital that the Government commits to the essential $6 million upgrade for Cowaramup Primary School that will provide students with the best possible facilities into the future.”

Earlier last month, the Times reported Cowaramup’s population had grown 25 per cent in recent years.

Parents and Citizens president Jodie Buck said the school was continuing to receive enrolments, and more than one transportable would be needed.

“With the expansion of Symphony Waters and Parkwater, it’s brought many new families with young children to our town,” she said. “The growth is fantastic, but an expansion was needed long before now.”

Principal Peter Howse downplayed claims a transportable classroom was insufficient and said next year’s figures showed only 16 more students enrolling at the school.

“The Department of Education will always ensure we have enough space to accommodate our students,” he said. “There will be ample accommodation for the students with this transportable.”

Education infrastructure executive John Fischer said a transportable was a “suitable alternative” for a classroom and there was no future expansion plans.

“While there are currently no plans to undertake works at Cowaramup Primary School, the Department of Education will continue to monitor enrolments at the school as well as population growth of school-aged children in the area,” he said.

Ms Mettam said she was organising a meeting with the Cowaramup P and C in coming weeks.

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