‘Transformed’: Hundreds of Ultimo students to start school at new ‘pop-up’ campus

What has been hailed by the NSW government as a “clever solution for Ultimo Public School” will be opened on Tuesday for the students, families and staff on their first day back at school.

They will be returning to a “pop-up” school located and built temporarily at Wentworth Park on Wattle Street, opposite the original site of the school on Quarry Street.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes unveiled the temporary “pop-up” solution on Monday, as the former site of the public school is redeveloped to accommodate an extra 500 students. About 800 students are expected to walk through the gates of the new school this year, a rapid increase from its original 360 students.

The grounds of a temporary school in Ultimo. Photo: Brook Mitchell

Ms Berejiklian said the new temporary school had been “cleverly designed” to fit into one of the city’s most densely populated suburbs.

“Ultimo has been transformed over the last decade into a cosmopolitan urban community, which is reflected in the design of this brand new school,” said Ms Berejiklian.

The redeveloped school will be a single storey on the side facing Jones Street and reach three storeys at the side facing Wattle Street.

The new school will feature 30 new classrooms, a library and a hall. It will also contain after school facilities and indoor and outdoor spaces for sport and recreational purposes.

“This is to make sure that we have all of our children have the best education possible, even with having their new school built across the road,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Stokes said the new school should be seen as a demonstration of their commitment to build “bigger and better” schools for the future as more “pop-up” schools are being planned for the city .

“There will be more than 120 major projects either in planning, in design or in delivery right now so we are going to see more of these sorts of innovative approaches,” said Mr Stokes.

Ultimo principal Nic Accaria said the temporary school had been met with great support by the families and staff.

“With my staff and a lot of our colleagues and with our families that I’ve spoken to over the holidays, we’ve really taken note of the fact that this is such an inviting environment,” said Mr Accaria.

The students are expected to be in the “pop-up” school until the end of the 2019 school year.

High-rise schools, “modular classroom blocks” and facilities being shared by students and the community are all part of the department’s $5 billion plan to meet an expected enrolment spike of 21 per cent, or 164,000 students, in NSW schools by 2031.

The Sydney local government area has one of the highest projected enrolment increases of 66.9 per cent, with an extra 9600 students expected by 2031.

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