The State Government is to redevelop the historic Claremont Teachers’ College site as an education precinct.
Education Minister Colin Barnett said today Edith Cowan University, which had been using the site, planned to consolidate its Joondalup and Mt Lawley campuses at a cost of $136 million over six years.
The project would result in the transfer of about 3,000 students and 700 staff to the Joondalup campus and 1,000 students and 150 staff to the Mt Lawley campus.
At present there are 3,000 students at Joondalup and 5,000 at Mt Lawley.
Mr Barnett said the Claremont Teachers’ College site had a long and proud history in education in Western Australia.
“Established in 1902, the college was the centre for teacher training for most of the last century,” he said.
“Consequently, many teachers have a great affection for the place as it is where their careers began.
“During the 1980s when the Claremont Teachers’ College site became part of the newly formed ECU, it was clear it could not accommodate the university’s growth in its education programs and ECU began building new facilities at
Mt Lawley and Joondalup.”
Mr Barnett said the heritage status of the buildings, community use of the open space and the outlook of a number of nearby properties precluded an outright sale of the site.
“However, it does need to be retained and used in a practical way,” he said.
“To do this, the Government will continue the site’s educational tradition by creating an education precinct.
“This precinct will create a focus for improving education in WA.”
Mr Barnett said the precinct would be used as a convenient venue to consider education issues through meetings and seminars.
Development plans for the site include setting aside a portion of the land for public open space and housing.
Heritage and other significant buildings will be retained as part of the education precinct.
The precinct will incorporate the Curriculum Council, Department for Education Services, Country High School Hostels Authority and Public Education Endowment Trust, as well as other education and education-related groups such as those in the areas of the arts, health and disability services.
Mr Barnett said the Claremont site was a crown reserve vested in ECU, which had spent a considerable amount of money on infrastructure. The site is now valued at $16.5 million.
He said LandCorp would examine possibilities for limited residential development and the State Government would continue to ensure the local community was consulted.
“Any development will have to be sensitive and not intrude on the heritage significance or open space of the site or interrupt the vista of nearby properties,” the Minister said.
Caroline Lacy on 9220 5010