NSW state budget 2018: Hawkesbury schools funding

UNDERWAY: Richmond High School's historic MAC building (Bini Dome) is being demolished and a multipurpose gymnasium will be built. Picture: Geoff Jones
UNDERWAY: Richmond High School's historic MAC building (Bini Dome) is being demolished and a multipurpose gymnasium will be built. Picture: Geoff Jones

NSW state schools will receive a $6 billion windfall in the upcoming state budget, and Hawkesbury will be benefiting with new schools, classrooms and upgrades planned over the next four years.

Local projects that were previously announced or are underway will come under the funding, including a new primary school at Marsden Park, and a new agricultural high school at Richmond.

The funding boost aims to cater for the state's increasing student population.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was proud the NSW government was making this “unprecedented investment” into schools and students.

As part of the program, up to 1000 schools will receive air conditioning at a cost of $500 million, under the Cooler Classrooms policy. 

"This funding will ensure thousands of classrooms that previously did not have air conditioning will now receive it," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

The air-conditioning program will target schools with the greatest need in metropolitan, regional and remote areas.

To ensure the initiative is sustainable, power required will be offset by power generated by solar panels and, where possible, supported with battery storage.

A new project included in the funding was a Marsden Park primary school for up to 1000 students (this project was announced previously).

Projects already underway in the Hawkesbury include Hurlstone Agricultural High School (Hawkesbury) which will be built on the Western Sydney University Richmond campus.

Scheduled to open in 2020, the high school will cater for 1,500 students initially, then Stage 2 of the project will see the school expanded to provide additional new permanent teaching spaces to address enrolment growth.

Richmond High School’s upgrade will continue, removing the Bini Dome and providing the school with a new multi-purpose gymnasium facility.

Riverstone High School’s upgrade will also continue, redeveloping the school to provide additional new permanent teaching spaces and upgrading core facilities.

Outside the Hawkesbury, Quakers Hill East Public School is being expanded to provide 12 new permanent teaching spaces and core facilities are being upgraded to address enrolment growth.

Schofields Public School is also being upgraded to provide 27 permanent teaching spaces and core facilities are being upgraded.

Also nearby, new primary schools are being built at Bella Vista and Jordan Springs.

Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly welcomed the funding for school air conditioning.

“The criteria for providing air conditioning for existing schools will prioritise hotter areas of the state, meaning that western Sydney schools will be well in line for retrofitting within the 5 year program,” he said.

All new schools and school upgrades will also have air conditioning installed in their new classrooms and libraries.