The tender for the new Swanbourne Primary School has been accepted and work will start in January 2001.
Education Minister Colin Barnett said today the new school was expected to be finished by the beginning of the 2002 school year.
Mr Barnett said the decision to relocate the school was originally made in late 1997, after months of discussion on whether to build a new school or upgrade the existing one.
Two surveys of the parents revealed the majority supported relocation.
The development of the new school, on part of the site of the Swanbourne Senior High School, required consultation with the local Aboriginal community over the use of the land, which is a site of significance to the Noongah people.
In February this year, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kim Hames approved the redevelopment provided the Education Department complied with certain conditions.
“The Education Department has been working with the Elders for some time to come to an agreement over the use of the land and negotiations will continue,” Mr Barnett said.
“It is only fitting the Aboriginal heritage of the area is recognised and I thank the Elders for their ongoing input into the process.”
Mr Barnett said he was aware the City of Nedlands had raised some concerns about landscaping and preservation of native bush on the site of the new school.
He said the Education Department would try and minimise the disruption to the native flora and plant numerous native species throughout the site.
Mr Barnett also paid tribute to the staff and parents of Swanbourne Primary School, who had endured a long period of uncertainty while the various issues relating to the school and the site were resolved.
“I realise this has been a difficult time for the school community and I thank them for their patience and support, “ he said.
“The new Swanbourne Primary School will be an outstanding educational facility which will serve the children of the area for years to come.”
Diana Callander 9222 9699